NHS services in Devon over the Christmas peiod

PUBLISHED: 15:23 17 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 17 June 2010

MANY patients are unsure what to do if they fall ill, or run out of their prescribed medication over Christmas and New Year if their surgery is closed. This can particularly apply to people living in remote, rural areas, those with no transport or those

MANY patients are unsure what to do if they fall ill, or run out of their prescribed medication over Christmas and New Year if their surgery is closed. This can particularly apply to people living in remote, rural areas, those with no transport or those who live by themselves.

Each GP surgery and community hospital has different opening times over this period. For more information on opening times call your local practice or community hospital in advance, most will have notices in their reception area. The same also applies to your local pharmacy. GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, but should offer normal services in between.

Here are some general tips to keep well not just over the festive season but throughout this winter

-Check to see if you are entitled to a flu jab

-Get well stocked up on over the counter medication from a pharmacy such as paracetamol, cold and flu remedies

-Think twice before calling for 'out of hours' assistance if you are able to treat yourself

-If it is appropriate, call NHS Direct 0845 4647 (open 24 hours a day) if you require any health information/advice

-If patients require medical advice or treatment from a clinician, which cannot wait until their surgery is open, they should ring Devon Doctors 0845 6710 270

-Only visit A&E if you consider it to be really necessary, most minor ailments can be treated at your local Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)

-Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue

-Wash your hands often to avoid the spread of infections / viruses

-Patients should only dial 999 for an ambulance if they consider themselves or relatives to be under life-threatening conditions.

-Attend your own surgery before it closes for Christmas and New Year if you require advice from your own GP or nurse about maintaining your health at this time.

-If you are taking regular medication, try to ensure that you have enough to last over the holidays.

-If you plan to leave Devon at this time, please ensure you take enough medication with you. If you do need medical assistance when staying outside of the county, you will need to access the medical services local to where you are staying rather than your own Devon Surgery.

-If you are suffering from dental pain and have a regular NHS dentist you should contact your practice during normal working hours. If your practice is not open you will be directed to the Devon Dental out of hours service by answer phone message.

-Patients who have dental pain can contact Devon Dental direct on 01392 823682 between 8am to 10.30pm on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 27 and 28 December and ---New Year's Day. Normal out of hours operating times are 6pm to 10.30pm on weekdays, and 8am to 10.30pm on weekends and Bank holidays.

Out-of-hours urgent GP care is provided by Devon Doctors. If a patient telephones Devon Doctors, their call will be returned by a clinician. The patient will either receive advice over the telephone, be invited to attend a local Treatment Centre or, if clinically appropriate, receive a visit at home.

To contact Devon Doctors, please call 0845 6710 270.

Opening times and telephone numbers of local community hospital Minor Injury Units and NHS walk in centres:

Ashburton/Buckfastleigh Hospital 10am-6pm daily01364 652203

Axminster Medical Centre 8am-6pm (not 25th-26th Dec)01297 630400

Bovey Tracey Hospital 10am-6pm daily 01626 832279

Dartmouth Hospital 9am-5pm Daily01803 832255

Dawlish Hospital 10am-6pm daily01626 868500

Exmouth Hospital 24 Hour 01395 279684

Honiton Hospital 24 Hour01404 540540

Moretonhampstead Hospital 10am-6pm daily 01647 440217

Newton Abbot Hospital 8am-10pmdaily01626 354321

Okehampton Hospital 8am-10pmdaily01837 658000

Ottery St Mary Hospital 8am-4pm daily01404 816000

RD&E Walk in Centre 7am-10pm daily01392 411735

Sidmouth Hospital 10am-6pm Daily01395 512482

South Hams Hospital 01548 852349

Tavistock Hospital 8am-10pm daily (xmas day 9.30 - 10pm) 01822 612233

Teignmouth Hospital 8am - 10pm daily01626 772161

Tiverton Hospital 24 hour01884 235400

Totnes Hospital 24 hour01803 862622

Sidwell Street Walk in centre will be closed on Christmas day, will be open between 9am-5pm on boxing day and New Years day. Normal service will resume in between Mon-Fri 7.30am-6pm, Sat 8.30am-6pm and Sun 10am-4pm. For more information please contact the centre on 01392 276892.

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