The local NHS is reminding people that they can still access urgent care over the Bank Holiday weekend at any time – including on Bank Holiday Monday (30 August) when GP practices will be closed.
Patients needing a face-to-face appointment with a health professional are being asked to contact NHS 111 First, who will help direct people to the most appropriate service for treatment.
NHS 111 is staffed by a team of trained professionals and clinicians who will provide instant over the phone triage, and can offer pre-booked face to face appointment slots with an out of hours GP, or a local hospital A&E department if required.
This system is in place to help ensure patients get the care they need as quickly and easily as possible, and to ensure they can 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, or their life is at risk.
Alternatively, patients can also attend a local NHS Walk-in Centre. Knowsley Walk-in Centres are based at Halewood, Huyton and Kirkby and open Monday to Saturday from 8.00am to 8.30pm, and on Sundays and Bank Holidays from 10.00am to 8.30pm.
Telephone appointments are no longer required to access this service, but patients will still be asked to wear a face covering (unless exempt).
Dr Andrew Pryce, a local GP and Chair of NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that plans health services for the borough, said:
“We know that sometimes patients can feel unsure about where to go for help if they become unwell over a bank holiday weekend, but we’re keen to let people know that they can still get urgent help when they need it – even if their normal GP practice is closed.
“The advice is really simple – call 111 or visit one of our walk-in centres if you need any kind of medical advice or treatment over the weekend.”
Residents are also reminded that they can get advice and treatment for lots of minor illnesses and ailments from a local pharmacy – without the need for an appointment.
Many local pharmacies will still be open over the bank holiday, but please check with your local branch about 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.