Residents of East Berkshire are being advised on how they can access healthcare and advice over the Christmas and New Year period.
Most GP practices across Slough, Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead will continue to operate a normal service until Friday 22 December. We do however advise that you to check with your individual practice.
Patients should ensure that they have sufficient medication to cover them over the holiday period and ensure that any request for repeat prescriptions are ideally made by Tuesday 19 December.
The ‘Extended GP hours Service’, for people who find it difficult to take time off work or have other commitments during daytime hours, will also continue to operate as normal until Sunday 24 December. People are reminded that these are pre-bookable appointments via their individual GP surgeries only. Appointments cannot be booked on the day.
All GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day (25/12) and Boxing Day (26/12) and there will be no ‘Extended GP hours Service’ on these days. However, people will still be able to access GP care, whether this is for an urgent appointment or medical advice, by calling NHS 111.
Our three Urgent Care facilities will be open throughout Christmas and New Year period with walk-in services available for people at Bracknell Urgent Care Centre (BUCC), Slough Walk-In Centre (SWIC) and St Mark’s Urgent Care Centre (SMUCC) in Maidenhead. Here are their opening hours:
- BUCC is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week (including Bank Holidays) – no change to opening times over Xmas and New Year
- SWIC is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week (including Bank Holidays) – no change to opening times over Xmas and New Year
- St Mark’s UCC is open 8:30am -5pm on weekdays / 8:30am – 1pm on weekends and Bank Holidays – no change to opening times over Xmas and New Year
People may also seek medical advice from a number of local pharmacies, some of which will be operating on restricted opening hours between 24 December – 1 January. Click here for more information. It is recommended that a small ‘first aid’ box and a supply of basic medication i.e. pain relief for adults and children etc. should be in place to support self-care throughout the year.
Pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are subject to change. Patients are therefore advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.
GP practices and the ‘Extended GP hours service’ will be open as normal on the 27, 28 and 29 December with some additional clinical capacity in place to help with any increased demand.
Monday 1 January 2018, all GP practices and ‘Extended GP hours service’ will again close with people advised to use 111, walk-in centres or pharmacies.
All services will resume as normal from Tuesday 2 January with additional clinical capacity at the Extended GP hours Service again in place to help deal with any increased demand.
Dr Jim O’Donnell, a clinical chair within East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “We want people to know that should they unfortunately become unwell over the Christmas and New Year period, help is still always at hand.
“If your GP practice is closed and it is not a 999 emergency, then you are advised to call NHS 111. They can give you advice and if you need to speak directly to a health care professional then they are available on the other end of the phone, whatever the time of day or night. They can also book you an appointment to see a doctor.
“Alternatively, you can visit one of our three Urgent Care facilities or a selected number of pharmacies for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds.
He added: “To help ensure the NHS delivers an effective service for all over the festive period, people should only visit A&E or call 999 for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries. “