Fylde Coast doctors are urging local people to help ease the likely pressures on NHS services over Christmas and New Year.

With the festive period being a traditionally busy time for the NHS, local people are being reminded to seek the expertise of local pharmacists should they suffer a minor illness or injury and need treatment advice.

A number of pharmacies will be open during the holiday season and able to offer free, expert advice without the need for an appointment.

With kissing under the mistletoe, cold weather and the odd tipple likely to pass people’s lips over the next couple of weeks, the chances of suffering from some form of illness or injury are increased. If it’s a cough, cold, stomach bug, indigestion or a hangover, your local pharmacy will be able to advise of the right remedy.

Alternatively, local people can also help themselves first by making sure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet before the festivities start. However, some pharmacies will be putting their own celebrations on hold so they can be ready to help.

In Fylde and Wyre all pharmacies are open on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day the Lloyds pharmacy on St Andrews Road North in St Annes, Boots on Victoria Road West in Cleveleys and the Morrisons Pharmacy on Amounderness Way in Cleveleys will be open.

All pharmacies will be open in Fylde and Wyre areas on New Year’s Eve with a change to opening hours.

On New Year’s Day and the Bank Holiday of Monday 2 January 2017, the following pharmacies will be open as follows:

New Year’s Day:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St. Andrews Road North, 10am – 4pm
  • WM Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, 10am – 4pm
  • Boots, 39 Victoria Road West, 10am – 4pm
  • Boots, 3 -5 St. Annes Road West, 10am – 4pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 10:30am – 4.20pm
  • Boots, 64-66 Clifton Street, Lytham St. Annes, 11am-4pm

Monday 2 January 2017:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St. Andrews Road North, St Annes on Sea, 9am – 6pm
  • WM Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am – 4pm
  • Boots, 39 Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 10am – 4pm.

Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We really need people to remember that the Accident and Emergency department is strictly for accidents and emergencies.

“People with minor ailments could face a lengthy wait to be seen and would be better off visiting a pharmacist or looking after themselves at home.

“If you’ve come down with a minor illness and are unsure of how to treat it then a pharmacy is the best place to go for advice so it’s always useful to know which are open just in case.

“The other services such as the Walk-In and Same-Day Health Centres should be kept free for those who are in need of treatment for an urgent complaint.

“A&E especially, should be kept free those in need of emergency treatment for life-threatening conditions. The festive period is the busiest time of the year for the NHS so it’s important people remember to use the most appropriate service when required.

“Anyone who is feeling unwell and isn’t sure what they should do can always ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see.”

A full list of Christmas opening times for pharmacies and other services across the Fylde Coast is available at http://whyaande.nhs.uk/xmas