Christmas healthcare without an appointment

Posted: December 23, 2016

Where to go if you need help over the festive period

Illness and injury rarely take time off at Christmas, but neither do many of the medical establishments in Swindon and Wiltshire. 

Many of the town's GP surgeries will close for up to four days from Christmas Eve, meaning local people will need to look elsewhere for alternative healthcare, advice and treatment. 

The Urgent Care Centre, located next to the Great Western Hospital, will be open 24 hours a day throughout the festive period, with a team of GPs and nurses on hand to care for people who are not emergencies but need to be seen quickly. 

Similarly, the Carfax NHS Medical Centre in Swindon town centre will offer its usual walk-in service between 8am and 8pm on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day and between 7am and 8pm on all other days. 

With no need for an appointment, the centre is usually the go-to option for common Christmas injuries and illnesses, such as food poisoning, minor burns, cuts and sprains. 

People suffering from more serious conditions, including broken bones, severe bleeding, chest pains and breathing difficulties, should always call 999 or attend the Emergency Department at the Great Western Hospital as soon as possible. 

Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, said: "We're lucky in Swindon to have some really excellent healthcare services available to us at all times of the day, even at Christmas time. 

"The Urgent Care Centre and Walk-In Centre at Carfax Street will both be open for business, as will some of the town's pharmacies for those minor conditions which can be treated with something over the counter. 

"One hundred and fifty people attended the Emergency Department on Christmas Day last year and while many would have come to the right place, others could have been seen more quickly elsewhere." 

Further afield, the Minor Injury Units in nearby Cirencester and Chippenham will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day between 8am and 11pm and 7am and 11pm respectively.  

People making a trip to the Great Western Hospital over the next week will not need to pay for their parking, with entrance barriers staying up on 25 and 26 December, as well as 1 January 2017.

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