GP practices are normally closed on bank holidays, but this year all practices will be open on the May Day bank holiday (Friday 8 May) as part of an NHS extended provision during the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s bank holiday has been arranged to coincide with Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrations which mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Dr Maurice Smith, a local GP and part of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation which plans NHS healthcare services across the city, said:
“It’s really important that people continue to seek medical advice if they need it, so we’re keen to let people know that their GPs are there to support them over the bank holiday weekend this year. Many people continue to need help with lots of different health problems that aren’t to do with coronavirus, and as GPs we are still working to provide that advice and care, even though the way we do that might be slightly different at the moment.”
Anyone who needs help from their GP practice during the bank holiday – or at any other time - should call them first rather than turn up in person.
They may be able to give you the advice you need over the phone or via a video conferencing system. If a GP or nurse decides a face to face appointment is required they will still arrange one – either at a person’s own practice, or another one near to where they live.
Dr Smith adds, “Don’t forget that you can also do lots of things online, like ordering repeat prescriptions. If you don’t use GP online services but would like to try it, you can visit your GP practice website for more details about how to set this up.”
In addition to GP surgeries being open, local NHS Walk-in Centres across Liverpool will continue to operate daily between 8am–8pm, but people will need to call them on 0300 100 1004 to arrange an appointment first.
Pharmacies will also continue to be open over the bank holidays, but some will operate with reduced hours. Please download this spreadsheet with a list of opening times for pharmacies in Liverpool.
Dr Smith continues to advise, “Usually at this time of year we’re encouraging people to get outside and get active, but the best thing you can do for your own health – and everyone else’s – over this bank holiday weekend is to stay at home.
"Instead look for ways to keep fit without leaving the house - www.nhs.uk has lots of free exercise ideas suitable for all ages and abilities, from simple sitting exercises you can do from a chair to more challenging workouts.”
There’s also a reminder that for any urgent medical help over the bank holidays, people can visit www.111.nhs.uk, or call 111, 24 hours a day.
When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, people should call 999 immediately, just as they normally would - especially if they think that they or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke – every second counts with these conditions.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms - a high temperature or a new, continuous cough – who needs medical advice, should use the dedicated NHS 111 coronavirus service online at: www.111.nhs.uk/COVID-19. Only call 111 if you can’t get help online.
Full details about using NHS services in Liverpool during the pandemic are available on the NHS Liverpool CCG website: www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/health-and-services/coronavirus-information/using-the-nhs-in-liverpool-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/