Be prepared if you get sick on the May bank holiday weekends

Be prepared if you get sick on the May bank holiday weekends

With two bank holidays coming up this month on Monday 7 May 2018 and Monday 28 May 2018, local health professionals are reminding people to examine their options, should they or their family members become unwell over the long weekends.

Many GP practices will be closed on the May bank holidays, so it is also wise for people to think about repeat prescriptions they will need before the holiday period begins.

Dr John Caine, a GP in West Lancashire and chair at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are reminding people about the services on offer to them such as advice on the NHS choices website and by calling NHS 111 which will be invaluable during the bank holidays.

“Your pharmacist can also give you useful advice on how to deal with common bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu through self-care.”

For up to the minute information on where to go if you fall ill during the bank holiday, visit the CCG’s website, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages, or visit Examine Your Options:

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across West Lancashire there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

Pharmacy Services

Several pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday weekends and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit the CCG’s website and check out their Twitter and Facebook pages for on the day updates.

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.


You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting This useful website also includes a handy symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. A GP will be available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays (local GP practice times may vary). If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery.

If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: or call 0300 311 22 33.

In West Lancashire, residents can now see a GP in the evenings and weekends at certain times.

Tuesdays – Skelmersdale Family Practice, 6.30pm to 8pm

Wednesdays – Matthew Ryder Clinic (Upholland) and Tarleton Group Practice – 6.30pm to 8pm

Thursdays – The West Lancashire Walk-in Centre in Ormskirk from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Saturdays – Sandy Lane Health Centre (Skelmersdale), Burscough Health Centre and Ormskirk Medical Centre from 10am – 4pm – GP, nurse and blood clinics at Sandy Lane and Burscough, GP and nurse only at Ormskirk.

Sundays – Sandy Lane Health Centre, Burscough Health Centre and Ormskirk Medical Practice, 10am – 2pm – GP and nurse appointments only.

To make an appointment to see an extended hours GP, contact your GP practice.

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit

Walk-in centres

West Lancashire has two walk-in centres.  The West Lancashire Walk-in Centre in Ormskirk, which is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ. This centre is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and the Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse, Skelmersdale, WN8 6LJ, which is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

Colleagues within these centres, can treat minor injuries and minor ailments and all services are delivered by Virgin Care.

To access help, visit the respective centre that you would like to use and speak to the receptionist. Once you are booked in, you will be seen by a clinician who will decide how urgent your case is and you will be then be seen in priority order.

Patient Access

Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

For West Lancashire pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday, please visit