The local NHS is reminding people to contact NHS 111 first if they need urgent care over the coming Bank Holiday weekend, when GP practices will be closed.
NHS 111 is staffed by a team of trained professionals and clinicians who will provide over the phone triage, and can book face to face appointment slots at a local NHS Walk-in Centre, out of hours GP practice, or hospital A&E department if required.
By calling NHS 111 patients will get the treatment they need quickly, but will also be safely socially distanced while they wait to be seen.
However, people should still dial 999 as normal in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously injured, their life is at risk, or they could be having a heart attack or stroke – every second counts with these conditions.
Dr Simon Perrit, Clinical Lead for Unplanned Care, Knowsley CCG said: “We know that people sometimes feel unsure about where to go for help if they become unwell over a bank holiday weekend when their normal GP practice is closed, but the advice is really simple – unless it is a life-threatening emergency, please contact NHS 111 as this really is the best way to get the help that you need.”
Dr Anne Kerr, Lead Paediatric Consultant at the Emergency Department at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our A&E department at Alder Hey is under a lot of pressure at the moment with a high volume of patients, so please think before coming to our emergency department.
“We are asking everyone to use the NHS 111 service – either by calling 111 or going to www.nhs.uk/111 – and they will be able to direct you to the right service in order to get you treated as quickly as possible. ”
People can also book an appointment at a local NHS Walk-in Centre. Halewood, Huyton and Kirkby walk-in centres are open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8:30pm, and on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 10am to 8:30pm.
The walk-in centres are currently operating a telephone triage system which means that patients must call to book an appointment slot before visiting.
The walk-in centres can be contacted directly to make an appointment on the below numbers:
- Halewood – Tel: 0151 244 3533
- Huyton – Tel: 0151 244 3150
- St Chads (Kirkby) – Tel: 0151 244 3065
Some local pharmacies will also continue to be open over the bank holidays, and can provide advice on treating lots of minor ailments and injuries. Please check with your local branch for bank holiday opening times.
To access NHS 111, go to 111.nhs.uk or dial 111 at any time – it operates 24 hours a day, every day.
BSL users can use the NHS 111 video interpreter service by going to www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.