A child being helped to blow their nose in a winter background

During winter cold weather can make health problems worse and could even lead to serious health complications especially if you are over 65, or have long term health conditions.

Need health advice this winter? Help us help you stay well.

This winter, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West residents will have access to a range of healthcare services to help stay well:

Advice from a pharmacist

Visiting your local pharmacy can be the fastest way to get advice if you have a minor health problem. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who can help with a wide range of issues – from stomach bugs, to coughs and colds and minor injuries like strains and sprains. You can also find out more about treating minor health conditions on nhs.uk.

Christmas and New Year Bank Holiday 2019/20 opening hours in:

Getting a repeat prescription

It’s a good idea to collect repeat prescriptions in good time, especially before the festive period. You can find out how to get an emergency prescription [and also view a full list of pharmacy opening hours for Christmas and the New Year, as they might be different to usual (insert link to own page or to NHS South East when live).]

Seeing a GP or a practice nurse

If you think you need an appointment with your GP or practice nurse, you should be able to book:

  • online, find out more about how to start using online services
  • by phone
  • in person, by going into the surgery and talking to the receptionist.

In some GP surgeries, you may also be able to have a consultation online or over the phone. Speak to your GP surgery for more information about online and phone consultations.

If you contact your GP surgery outside of normal surgery hours, a recorded message should tell you who to contact. It may be possible to arrange an evening or weekend appointment at a nearby practice. You can also call 111 who will be able to give advice and book a GP appointment if needed.

Some GP surgeries may have different opening hours on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and during the bank holidays, but arrangements are in place for residents to get appointments locally if needed. Check your surgery’s opening hours online or over the phone if you think you need an appointment, or call 111.

Urgent medical issues – choose NHS 111

If you have an urgent medical issue, call 111 to speak to a fully trained advisor, 24 hours a day. It’s also possible to get help through 111.nhs.uk, where you can answer questions about your main symptom and find out when and where to get help. If necessary, 111 advisors can connect callers to a nurse, emergency dentist or a GP and they can arrange face-to-face appointments. They will also advise you on whether you should seek emergency care.

Getting help in an emergency

If you have a medical emergency, call 999 or go to A&E. Accident and emergency departments are for seriously ill people with life-threatening conditions and will be very busy over the Christmas and New Year period. We would encourage people to use alternative health services if the issue isn’t an emergency.