The key to the NHS working well this winter is for the public to use services appropriately.
Everyone can benefit by following the expert advice of NHS staff to help the NHS help people to stay well; to prevent an illness getting worse; to take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.
- ask a pharmacist for advice before minor ailments or illnesses get worse.
- plan to make sure you have enough medication for the Christmas break.
- If you have a long term condition (especially respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD) make sure you manage that condition properly and remember it can get worse in the cold weather.
- Remember the GP practices are only closed on the bank holidays so book an appointment if you become unwell, don’t let it get worse to the point you need to go to hospital.
- If you’ve been putting off going to the GP because you’re too busy, you can now book an evening or weekend appointment.
- knowing to call NHS 111 if you think you need medical attention urgently but it’s not an emergency.
Help Us, Help You.
Here are some of the options available to you on the Fylde Coast that will help you stay well and help you to understand which services will get you the best treatment.
Let’s be honest, if you’re ill the worst place to be is around other people. You can pass on your germs to them or worse, pick up something else from them. Sometimes the best thing for minor ailments is simply to stay in bed and have lots of fluids. A simple cough or cold will clear up after just a couple of days with nothing more than some cough mixture and some hot lemon and honey.
For tips on ways to look after yourself go to www.nhs.uk
If you have a medical condition where you take regular medication don’t forget to order your repeat prescriptions before Christmas and New Year so you know you wont run out.
Winter can be particularly difficult for people with long term conditions, especially respiratory conditions such as COPD or asthma. Below is a video that explains some of the important steps you need to take if you have a respiratory condition.
Make sure you get your flu jab. If you’re any one of the following you’ll get the vaccination for free:
- Aged over 65
- Have a long term medical condition
- Children aged 2 and 3
- Children in reception class and school years 1-5 (This is being given to children in schools across the Fylde Coast)
There’s more on self care locally here.
To find out what clubs, sports groups, social groups and more are available on the Fylde Coast by using the FYi Directory here.
Pharmacists are experts on medication and what treatment you need for many minor ailments. Don’t forget that GPs and nurses won’t generally give you a prescription for things like cough medicine or pain killers (paracetamol) so there’s no point going to your GP. Just go straight to your community pharmacist and buy the medicines over the counter. They’re cheap, you’ll save yourself a lot of time waiting for a GP appointment and we will be able to save appointments for people who are more seriously ill.
Some pharmacies close over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays. Here are the ones that are open across the Fylde Coast.
GP and healthcare appointments
Your GP practices will be open as normal if you have a health concern that you are worried about or has lasted longer than expected. The doctors and nurses in your Practice will be busy giving flu vaccinations and seeing extra people. As with all businesses practices will be closed on the bank holidays.
If you have a GP appointment please don’t forget to go and if you decide on the day that you no longer need the appointment or if you can’t go for any reason please let your practice know so they can give your appointment to someone who might be urgently waiting.
Outside of normal business hours you can call your GP practice and they will divert you to an out of hours service for advice.
Evening and Weekend GP and healthcare appointments
You can now make an appointment to see a GP or healthcare professional in the evening and weekends. The Fylde Coast NHS has arranged for additional appointments to be provided outside of normal GP practice hours by the Fylde Coast Integrated Urgent Care Service. This means you can make an appointment at a time that is more convenient to you. It also means that more appointments are available so you should get an appointment sooner.
The appointments are available until 8pm on weekdays and from 8am-8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. They are held at either the Whitegate Drive health centre in Blackpool, Freckleton Health Centre, Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre Or Garstang Medical Practice.
The service offers pre-bookable, routine primary care appointments with a range of clinicians including GPs, nurses and health care assistants.
Please be aware that this is not a walk-in service – you must have an appointment.
The service employs local clinicians from the Fylde Coast, where possible.
To book an appointment simply call your GP practice as normal and ask them to book one for you. If your GP practice isn’t open then call 01253 952950.
For more information on this click here.
Urgent Treatment Centres
There are two urgent treatment centres on the Fylde Coast, which open seven days a week, from 8am until 8pm.
Both centres offer pre-bookable appointments via NHS111, and walk-in appointments. They are ideal if you need immediate attention with sprains or strains, minor cuts and injuries or if you are feeling unwell.
Since the centres operate for walk-in appointments be prepared to wait a while before being seen. You will be seen according to the severity of your condition not the order in which you arrive. However, you will most likely be seen quicker than if you went to A&E.
Whitegate Drive Health Centre,
Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9ES
Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre,
DockStreet, Fleetwood FY7 6HP.
NHS111 is a free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should contact NHS111 if you urgently need medical help or information but your situation is not life-threatening.
To contact NHS111 please dial 111 or visit the new website 111.nhs.uk.
Emergency Department - A&E
A&E (accident and emergency) departments treat patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses and injuries. You should only call 999 or visit A&E in an emergency.
If you attend A&E with a non-emergency condition do not be offended if you are advised to visit another service. There is an Urgent Treatment Centre next to A&E and you may be asked to go there instead. You may be assessed and told to go elsewhere or make an appointment with your GP. A&E will be kept free to treat those in need of care for serious life-threatening injuries and illnesses, or emergencies.
Guide to local health services (pdf | 0.3 MB)