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Look After Yourself Christmas

Bristol people are advised how to look after themselves with winter colds and flu and look out for Bank Holiday openings for health

Dr Hugh Annett, Director of Public Health for Bristol said today: Winter does bring more coughs, colds and flu so it is a good idea to be prepared and to make sure you have paracetamol and other treatments to hand.  The sooner you can start treatment the better but remember to store any medicines safely at home (out of the reach of children).
If you need a regular prescription for a long term condition, please check now to make sure that you have enough to tide you over the holiday period.
Over Christmas and New Year, it is also useful to know where to go for advice and medicines.  
 Health advice is on hand, even after working hours, such as in pharmacies or local Walk-in Centres. You can use out of hours GP services run by Frendoc and Brisdoc by ringing your normal GP surgery - but remember that ringing 999 or visiting hospital emergency departments is only appropriate for serious illnesses and injuries.

Dr Annett added: Hospital emergency departments can get very busy at this time of year as does the ambulance service. It is important that people in Bristol dont call on ambulance and emergency departments with minor problems which may take up care needed for seriously injured or seriously ill patients.

Lindsey Scott, Chief Nurse and Director of Governance, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

The emergency department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary is likely to be extremely busy over the Christmas period. In order to get the most effective help, can I ask that you think about your visit and whether it is more appropriate to seek help from your GP or use one of the other health services such as NHS Direct, the walk-in centres or the Minor Injuries Unit at Southmead.

Where to go:

¢ If you need advice or want to know about different health conditions or ailments ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647. NHS Direct is a confidential health help line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  You can also log on to: for free expert health advice and reassurance or to find out where to go for treatment or to find a local NHS dentist. You can also access NHS Direct Interactive on Sky Digital TV - press the interactive button and scroll down the menu to page 2 - Freeview, go to Channel 108.

¢ For minor injuries such as wounds, sprains and broken bones there is a minor injuries unit at Southmead Hospital, which is open 9 am to 9pm everyday including Christmas Day. It treats wounds, sprains, strains, some broken bones, minor head injuries and other similar conditions.
¢ Your GP surgery will be closed on the bank holidays, but there is an out of hours service run by Brisdoc or Frendoc for urgent medical treatment. Ring your usual surgery where you will be given instructions or diverted to the out of hours service, or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

¢ NHS Walk-in Centres - there are two in Bristol. The one at Knowle West Health Park is open every day from 9am to 9pm and the Bristol City Walk-in Centre is open as follows over the Christmas period (details below).

Bristol City Gate WIC, Broad Street, Bristol
Christmas Day  closed
26-28 Dec    10am to 6pm
New Years Day   10-6
Otherwise normal hours:  8am to 8pm
South Bristol WIC, Knowle West Health Park, Downton Road
Open 9am to 9pm every day including Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day

¢ For emergencies such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, serious accidents or less of blood call 999 for an ambulance of go to Accident and Emergency Departments at the Bristol Royal Infirmary or Frenchay Hospital.
¢ Emergency dental care
The Dental Access service is for people who need emergency dental treatment and are not registered with a NHS dentist. To book an appointment, or to get advice, people should phone the Emergency Dental Service on 0845 120 6680.

Patients can also ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

¢ Emergency contraception and sexual health services
Emergency contraception will be available from the pharmacies listed below, and is free for under-20 year olds at some pharmacies. 

For opening hours of contraception and sexual health clinics in Bristol and and where to go in an emergency please ring NHS Direct 24 hours a day on 0845 46 47, or visit either of the Bristol NHS Walk-in Centres. Sexual health service information can also be found at, or call the sexual health services information line on 0117 3426900.

Brook Clinic, Unity Street, Bristol
Closed Bank Holidays
Please ring 0117 9290090 for opening hours, and where to go for emergency contraception and advice.

Bristol Sexual Health Centre, Central Health Clinic, Tower Hill, Bristol
Normal opening hours      8.30am to 8pm
Christmas Eve                 10am to 2pm Drop-in clinic (limited appointments, Normal PAS Service)
Christmas Day     Closed
Boxing Day               Closed
New Years Eve 10am to 2pm Drop-in clinic (limited appointments, Normal PAS Service)
New Years Day Closed

There is a range of appointments and drop-In clinics during normal service.  Please call 0117 342 6900 if further information needed.  Doors close ten minutes before end of session.

¢ Pharmacy opening times
Most pharmacies will display a notice in their window showing the additional service on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.  For full details of pharmacies that are open and their hours please ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or see list below:

The following pharmacies are guaranteed to be open at the times stated - please see chart below:

Pharmacy Christmas Day Boxing Day New Years Day
Selcan Pharmacy, 103 St Marks Road 11.00-13:00 11:00-13:00 
Buxton and Grant Pharmacy, 176 Whiteladies Road 11:00-13:00 &
18:00-20:00   18:00-20:00
Silvermans Pharmacy, 180a Wells Road 18:00-20:00 18:00-20:00 18:00-20:00
Bhogal Chemist, 78-91 St Marks Road, Easton 18:00-20:00 18:00-20:00 18:00-20:00
Kellaway Pharmacy, 18 Kellaway Rd, Westbury Park   11:00-13:00 
Cotham Pharmacy, 5 Cotham Hill   18:00-20:00 
Boots Broadmead    10:00-17:00 10:00-17:00
Boots Avonmead    10:00-17:00 10:00-17:00
Sainsburys Winterstoke Road      09:00-17:00
Lloyds Pharmacy Fishponds Road      10:00-18:00
Boots Eastgate    10:00-18:00 10:00-17:00

If you go on the NHS Choices on - you can enter your postcode to find your nearest GP and the surgeries opening times over Christmas.

Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet will ensure you are able to treat any winter ailments such as cold and flu promptly, and therefore increase your familys chance of a speedier recovery. Things to keep a supply of include: paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin to help relieve the aches, pains and raised temperatures of colds and flu; sugar-free paracetamol or ibuprofen syrups for children; decongestant to treat catarrh, sinusitis and dry coughs; childrens decongestant, a selection of plasters, cotton wool, and assorted dressings, safety pins, tweezers and sharp scissors. Your local pharmacist will be able to give you advice.

Keep warm
Its vital that older people keep warm - We want to remind them to wrap up warm, dont go out if its very cold  but do keep active at home, and have warm meals which act as a fuel.  We want to remind neighbours how important it is to check on an elderly person in your road and to offer to do shopping for them in bad weather, said Dr Annett.

Your local pharmacist (or chemist) can help you with many ailments ranging from sprains to stomach upsets. Pharmacists can help you get the best from medicines available and can advise you on what to buy.

Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
Catch it, kill it, bin it - sneeze into tissues, bin the tissues safely then wash your hands as soon as possible.