Where to go for health advice this Christmas in Sunderland

The NHS in Sunderland wants people to use the right services

Promoted by NHS
Monday, 24th December 2018, 9:38 am
Patient seeing doctor

People in Sunderland are being urged to keep a well–stocked first aid kit at home and to choose the most appropriate care for their symptoms to help the NHS run smoothly over Christmas.

The NHS in Sunderland is advising people to stock up on over the counter remedies such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and indigestion treatments as well as a keeping a fully-stocked first aid kit to treat any minor injuries.

Health services across Sunderland face extreme pressure over Christmas, so it’s important that people know where to go for advice and how to look after yourself when it is appropriate.

Ann Fox, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Safety, and visiting professor at the University of Sunderland, said: “There are lots of ways for people to get help and advice if they are unwell or have a health problem. Pharmacists, GPs, 111 and Urgent Care Centres are all set up to help you stay well this winter.

“By choosing the right service and treatment over the next couple of weeks, local people can help keep our emergency health services available for life-threatening emergencies.”


Most common winter ailments and illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains can be treated at home with a well-stocked first aid kit.

The best way to look after someone with a cold or cough is to make sure they have plenty to drink (non-alcoholic of course!) and if they have a temperature, paracetamol will help. You do not need to visit a doctor; instead if the symptoms persist you should contact your pharmacy for advice.


If you’re unwell and need to buy over the counter medication several pharmacies in Sunderland will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Pharmacists are highly trained experts in medicines and their uses and are able to diagnose and treat a wide range of minor illnesses and ailments there and then – so you don’t need to wait for an appointment with your GP.

Opening times for pharmacies across Sunderland are available on www.urgentoremergency.co.uk.

NHS 111

People can call NHS 111, free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, but it’s not a 999 emergency, call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser.

Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange an appointment if they think you need one.

The service is free to use and helps to direct patients to the right care, first time.

Emergency Departments and 999

Emergency departments, 999 and the ambulance service are for life-threatening emergencies and accidents including; loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

Extended access

GP practices across Sunderland are working together to provide late night, weekend and Bank Holiday appointments over the Christmas break. This is NOT a walk-in service and appointments can be booked by calling your GP or via 111 when practices are closed.

Urgent Care Centre opening times in Sunderland (Bunny Hill, Washington Primary Care Centre, Houghton Primary Care Centre and Pallion Health Centre)

Date and Opening times

Christmas Eve - 10am - 10pm

Christmas Day - 8am - 10pm

Boxing Day - 8am - 10pm

27th December - 10am - 10pm

28th December - 10am - 10pm

29th December - 8am - 10pm

30th December - 8am - 10pm

New Year’s Eve - 10am - 10pm

New Year’s Day - 10am - 10pm

2nd January - 10am - 10pm