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Make sure you get the right NHS help in west Kent over the festive period

User AvatarPosted by Daniel Harper at 17/12/2019 13:48:19

17 December 2019

If you’re injured or taken ill in west Kent over the Christmas and New Year period, there are many ways to get the right NHS care, when and where you need it.

The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for the health service. To ensure everyone can access the treatment and advice they need, it is important to remember that people should only use A&E when they require emergency treatment.

Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “There are lots of ways to get advice and treatment over the Christmas and New Year period.

“It’s important to choose the right service as this ensures emergency departments can focus on those who really need it.”

Plan ahead

  • Prescriptions - As well as knowing where to go for treatment, it is also important to plan ahead. If you have a long-term health condition, make sure you are prepared for the upcoming holidays by requesting any repeat prescriptions that you might need.
  • Medicine cabinet - It is also advisable to keep your medicine cabinet at home stocked up with items such as painkillers and over-the-counter cold remedies, in case you need them.
  • Common childhood illnesses and wellbeing guide - Keep a copy of the west Kent Guide to Common Childhood Illnesses and Wellbeingto hand by downloading it on to your smartphone or tablet. Visit childhealthwestkent.nhs.ukto find out more.

Over the festive period, people in west Kent have a number of healthcare options:

  • Community Pharmacy: Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with over-the-counter preparations. Many pharmacies have private consultation areas and you don’t need an appointment. Visit nhs.ukto find a pharmacy near you. Some pharmacies in west Kent will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. A full list of these and their opening times will be available on nhs.uk


  • Your GP practice is open 8am to 6.30pm Monday 23, Tuesday 24 and Friday 27 December.
  • Late evening and weekend appointments are available through the GP extended and improved access services. Appointments are available until 8pm weekdays, 12pm on Saturdays and 12.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays. To book, ring your surgery. 
  • Pre-bookable appointments are available between 9am and 12.30pm on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day at West Kent Health’s Warders Hub in Tonbridge and Albion Place Hub in Maidstone. The clinics will be made up of a GP and receptionist. Appointments must be booked in advance through your GP practice. Patients will not be able to ring on the day to make an appointment. Patients calling into NHS 111 will also be offered any available appointments at these two hubs. 

Hub opening hours over Christmas and New Year are as follows:

  • Sunday 22 December - 9am to 12:30pm
  • Tuesday 24 December - 5pm to 8pm
  • Wednesday 25 December - 9am to 12:30pm
  • Thursday 26 December - 9am to 12:30pm
  • Sunday 29 December - 9am to 12:30pm
  • Tuesday 31 December - 5pm to 8pm
  • Wednesday 1 January - 9am to 12:30pm. 

  • NHS 111: If you can’t wait to see your own GP, you can call the free NHS 111 number for quick and easy access to clinical support and assessment – at any time of day or night. GPs, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists give urgent advice over the phone. If you need to be seen, they will be able to direct you to the best service and can prescribe medicines over the phone if required. You can also access the service online at any time by visiting www.111.nhs.uk
  • Mental Health Matters phone helpline:  Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – providing emotional support and practical advice – call 0800 107 0160
  • Minor injuries: Edenbridge and Sevenoaks Minor Injury Units are for a number of injuries and illnesses includingsuspected broken arms and lower legs, cuts, sprains and minor burns:
  • Edenbridge (Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital, Mill Hill, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 5DA) is open daily between 8.30am and 6.30pm except Christmas Day
  • Sevenoaks (Sevenoaks Hospital, Hospital Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3PG) is open daily 8am to 8pm, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Remember, for life-threatening emergencies, you should always call 999 immediately.  

For more information on helping you and your family stay well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell