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20 December 2012

Health services in Bristol this Christmas are 24/7

This winter, health experts estimate that almost half of those attending hospital emergency departments in Bristol and the surrounding area in winter could be treated more quickly by GPs or in Walk-in Centres. 

With this in mind, health bosses in Bristol are hoping that patients this Christmas will take the time to find local alternatives to hospital treatment that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

During the Christmas period, NHS services can be disrupted meaning many patients don't know where to go.  To make it easier, NHS Bristol is providing information to help patients access health services across the area. 

During the Christmas period across Bristol, the GP out-of-hours service provides health information 24 hours a day for non-urgent medical issues.

Dr Martin Jones, Bristol clinical commissioning group (CCG) chair said: "Knowing where to access health services is essential.  We want patients to understand that they can access healthcare treatment over the Christmas period and, if necessary, where to get it. 

"It's important that patients receive advice and treatment from the most appropriate place.  Busy emergency departments are best suited in managing emergencies and serious injuries.

"More rapid access for problems that a GP or nurse can assess is best handled via your local practice, GP out-of-hours service, walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.

"Also, GP surgeries are not closed all over Christmas and New Year holidays, if you think you need urgent GP care contact your GP surgery to get in touch with the out-of-hours service."

Patients are reminded to check with their local pharmacy about their opening times over Christmas and to ensure that any repeat prescriptions are collected in plenty of time before Christmas.  A well stocked medicine cabinet is also useful; so don't forget to stock up on paracetamol, cough medicine, sore throat lozenges, upset stomach remedies as well as plasters and cotton wool.

A full list of Bristol pharmacy opening times are provided on the NHS Bristol website:

At the new South Bristol Community Hospital, patients can access the Urgent Care Centre providing treatment for a range of minor injuries and ailments as well as having an x-ray facility.  The urgent care centre is open from 8am-8pm every day over the Christmas period.

The Broadmead Clinic, located within Boots in Broadmead, can treat minor injuries and ailments including cuts and sprains, minor infections, skin complaints, rashes and burns as well as dispensing emergency contraception.

Over Christmas, the Broadmead Clinic is open at the following times:

Christmas Eve - 8am-6.30pm

Christmas Day - Closed

Boxing Day - 11am-5pm

27/28/29 December - 8am-8pm

30 December - 11am-5pm

New Year's Eve - 8am-6.30pm

New Year's Day - 11am-5pm

There is also a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Southmead Hospital providing all of the services of an urgent care or Walk-in Centre, as well as dealing with more serious issues like broken bones, minor head injuries and eye infections.  The MIU is open from 8am-8pm every day.

There is also a leaflet "Feeling unwell' which can be picked up from your local GP surgery or you can download the leaflet on the NHS Bristol website: