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

11 December 2019

This winter, Swale residents 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

To see what times your local pharmacies are open over Christmas and New Year, click here.

Getting a repeat prescription

It’s a good idea to collect repeat prescriptions in good time, especially before the festive period. In an emergency, you can contact your pharmacy to find out whether you can get an an emergency prescription. A full list of pharmacy opening hours for Christmas and the New Year will be added to this page when the information becomes available.

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:

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 NHS 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 NHS 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, 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.