Where yule get help on health for Xmas

What to do if you fall ill....

IF you happen to fall ill during the festive season don’t panic, there is no need to panic as there are many places you can go to for advice and treatment.

NHS Direct are there for you 24 hours any day of the week. Call them on 0845 46 47 or go online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or on TV – through Teletext on Freeview.

Your GP practice will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday December 27, Tuesday December 28 and Monday January 3 2011. If you need to see a GP on one of these days or outside their regular hours phone your GP practice’s main telephone number. You will either be directly transferred to the out of hours service or there will be recorded instructions on how to contact help out of hours.

You can also go to the GP-led walk-in service at Vicarage Lane Health Centre, 10 Vicarage Lane, Stratford, E15 4ES tel: (020) 8536 2080 open: 8am to 8pm every day of the year.

The Urgent Care Centre at Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, Glen Road, Plaistow, E13 8BL is also open every day from 8am to 11pm and from 9am to 11pm on weekends and Bank holidays.

You can get treatment for minor illness and injury at your local pharmacy. Some pharmacies are open over the Christmas, New Year and the Bank holidays. A list of pharmacies open during the holiday period can be found below or by calling NHS Choices on 0845 46 47.

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If you need to see a dentist over the holiday period call your local dentist to check their opening times. If you require urgent dental care you can contact: London Dental Service New Road, Whitechapel, London tel: (020) 7377 7151.

If the London Dental Service is closed call NHS Direct for treatment options on: 0845 46 47.

Call 999 for A&E services. Call 999 only if you or the person you are calling for is so sick that their life is at risk, can not move or it would be dangerous for you to move them. Choose other services before calling or going to A&E. Leave A&E for those who need it the most.

If you have a mental health concern over the holidays and your GP practice isn’t open, call your GP practice’s main line to get the out of hours services.

You can also call the Mental Health Home Treatment Team on (020) 7540 6782 open 4.30pm to 9am Monday to Friday and from 9am to 9.30am on weekends and Bank Holidays. After 10pm the team can be accessed through calling emergency services on 999.

For those feeling lonely, Crisis at Christmas based at Newham College, Stratford Campus, Govier Close, E15 4HT offer hot meals, arts and crafts, films, sports events and internet access open: Thursday December 23 from 12noon to 9pm and December 24 to 29 from 9.30am to 9pm. For more information visit their website: www.crisis.org.uk or call 0844 251 0111.

If you need support, help, or refuge accommodation Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency always call the emergency services on 999.

Domestic violence can also be reported to the Police in person Newham Police: Community Safety Unit, Plaistow Police Station, 444 Barking Road, London E13 8HJ.

Contraceptive and Sexual Health services, including Shine clinics, are closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day and Bank holidays. Emergency contraception is available at the Urgent Care Centre at Newham University Hospital NHS Trust. Glen Road, Plaistow, E13 8BL open: every day from 8am to 11pm and from 9am to 11pm on weekends and Bank holidays.

NHS Newham’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) where you can get information, support, and advice open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The service will be closed on the Bank Holidays.

If you would like to tell the NHS about the service you received from your local health provider including how you found access to services over the holidays please contact PALS on (020) 7059 6733 or email: pals@newhampct.nhs.uk

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting a flu jab (you can get a flu jab from your GP if you fall into an at risk group or you are over the age of 65). Ask your local GP surgery for more information.

If you think you have the flu, stay at home, keep warm and drink lots of fluids. Take a mild painkiller such as paracetamol. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to go to your GP practice but if you are worried you can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 anytime. If you do not start to feel better after having the flu for more than four days contact your GP surgery.