Health leaders across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are reminding patients that medical care is still available over the Christmas and New Year Holiday when their local GP practices are closed.
In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland most GP practices will close at their normal time on Friday 22nd December and not reopen again until the morning of Wednesday 27th. They close again at their normal time on Friday 29th and reopen on the morning of Tuesday 2nd January.
However, there is still care available for people who need an urgent appointment.
In Leicester City, patients can access any one of four healthcare hubs. Appointments can be booked at the hubs from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, including bank holidays, by patients registered at any GP practice in Leicester City.
Appointments at the hubs can be booked for the same day or pre-booked in advance. There are a set number of appointments at the hubs each day. Patients are advised to telephone NHS 111 before they travel, to ensure they will be able to be seen.
In Leicestershire County and Rutland, urgent care centres are open throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Walk-in services are available at Loughborough Urgent Care Centre, Melton Mowbray Urgent Care Centre, Oadby Walk-In Centre and Market Harborough Urgent Care Centre. Appointments are also available at these locations through NHS 111.
Additional GP appointments will also be available with extended primary care services at Coalville Community Hospital and Hinckley and Bosworth Community Hospital as well as with the Out of Hours GP Services at Feilding Palmer Hospital. These appointments are only available through NHS 111 and there is no walk-in facility.
If patients are unsure of how to access care they are advised to phone NHS 111 outside of practice hours, where they will be directed to the healthcare service they need.
Dr James Ogle, GP in Leicestershire and urgent care clinical lead for LLR said “The last thing that people want during the Christmas holidays is to feel ill and have to seek medical attention. But if people are unfortunate enough to need help when their usual GP practice is closed then care is still available for them.
“If it’s not a 999 emergency, 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.”
NHS 111 can offer advice and guidance to support the patient to care for their condition at home or refer them on to the right service and care that best suits them. This may be a home visit from a clinician, or they might make an appointment for the patient at their local urgent care centre or primary care hub, as well as one of the four health care hubs in Leicester City. If it is an emergency, they can also dispatch an ambulance.
Dr. Ogle continues “NHS 111 can tell you what services are open closest to you. They can also book appointments for you at many of these services so you don’t have a long wait. It’s the right call to make if you need clinical care during the holidays.”
You can find a full guide to all services which are open in your local areas on the Stay Well in LLR website at https://staywell-llr.org.uk/ . This includes GP, pharmacy and dental service information.