With the Christmas Holidays fast approaching patients are asked to deal with any health problems before they become urgent.  Patients are advised to check they have sufficient prescription medicines for the four-day Christmas holiday period and to deal with any routine medical problems before the GP practices close for the Christmas break.

GP practices will be open as usual on Tuesday 24th December.  The Cwm Taf Morgannwg GP out-of-hours service, which is designed to deal with patients with urgent medical conditions only, will commence at 6.30pm on Tuesday 24th December and will operate through to 8.00am on Friday 27th December.  GP practices will open as normal on the morning of Friday 27th December.

Over the New Year period GP Practices will be open as normal on Tuesday 31st December.  The GP Out-of-Hours service will commence at 6.30pm on Tuesday 31st December and will operate until 8.00am on Thursday 2nd January 2019.

Dr Harry Hunt, Clinical Director, for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board GP out-of-hours service, said: “Please make sure that routine problems or problems that may become urgent are dealt with by your own GP, if possible before the Christmas holiday period.

“Visiting your own GP will be safer and better for you as your GP has access to your full health records and is supported by the GP practice staff. Also, your own GP can, if needed, arrange blood tests, X rays and referral to a hospital specialist.  This also means the out-of-hours service will not have to deal with routine GP work and can concentrate on helping those patients who may have more urgent health problems.”

Patients who contact the Cwm Taf Morgannwg GP out of hours service may be given advice about self-care over the phone or they may be given an appointment for a face-to-face consultation at a primary care centre.

Those patients who are terminally ill or elderly patients who are seriously unwell will be seen at home.

Dr Hunt added: “The Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s GP out-of-hours service provides medical advice and treatment for urgent healthcare problems only – this means advice and treatment for problems which the patient, or their carer, feels can’t safely wait until their own GP practice is next open.

Dr Hunt also added: “And please remember, you can get advice and treatment for many minor illnesses from your local pharmacy.”

If you are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms please do not go to A&E. The Cwm Taf Morgannwg website contains advice about how to recognise and manage symptoms. For more advice contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

Advice to help you stay well over the Christmas period:

Repeat prescriptions – Help your GP to spend time on more serious cases by ordering repeat prescriptions in advance of the Christmas holiday.

Ask your pharmacist – local community pharmacists can provide advice and treatment for many minor or self-limiting conditions along with advice about any ongoing medication.

NHS Direct Wales – If you need information and advice about health, illness and health services (including phone numbers and opening times) to enable you to make decisions about your healthcare and that of your family, contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

Don’t let your health problems become urgent over the Christmas Holidays