Christmas and New Year holiday arrangements

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) together with the Northern Trust, GPs, pharmacists and dentists, have been working to ensure that people have access to urgent care services over the Christmas and the New Year holiday period. The following health and care arrangements will be in place should you or a member of your family become ill or have an accident.

As part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign, which is being run by the HSCB and the Public Health Agency (PHA), the health service is encouraging everyone to look after themselves and take actions that will help them stay well during winter. If you feel unwell, it is also important to choose the service most appropriate to your symptoms, so you can get better quicker. It will also help the health and social care services make the most of finite resources.

Self-care is the best choice to treat most minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses such as aches and pains, coughs, colds, upset stomachs and sore throats can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest. Remember, whether treated or not, most of these will get better.


Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. The Health and Social Care Board has been working closely with local pharmacists to draw up holiday pharmacy rota arrangements.

Pharmacy rota arrangements

Please remember to order and collect any essential repeat prescription medications from your daytime GP surgery in advance of the holiday period. GP out of hours will only provide repeat prescriptions in exceptional circumstances.

Out of hours GP Service

The GP out of hours service, Dalriada Urgent Care, is available if you require urgent medical care which cannot wait until your surgery reopens. Remember to telephone the service first.

Dalriada Urgent Care GP out of hours service will be operating for all GP Practices as follows:

• Friday 23 December 2016 6.00pm to 9.00pm
• Saturday 24 December 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm to 5.00pm,
• Sunday 25 December 9.00am to 12.00 noon
• Monday 26 December 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm to 5.00pm
• Tuesday 27th Dec 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Dalriada Urgent Care will also be operating over the New Year period as follows:

• Saturday 31 December 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm – 5.00pm
• Sunday 1 January 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm – 5.00pm
• Monday 2 January 9.00am to 12.00 noon and 2.00pm – 5.00pm

GP Practices open as usual on Tuesday 3 January 2017. The telephone number for Dalriada Urgent Care is 028 2566 3500.

Out of hours Dental Services

Details of dental services will be displayed at dental surgeries or can be obtained by contacting your dentist. For out of hours urgent dental problems, patients should contact their dental surgery, visit or ring the Dalriada Urgent Care Relief of Dental Pain Clinic out of hours telephone number 028 2566 3510. The Relief of Dental Pain Clinic is for the treatment of dental emergencies only, including trauma, swelling, uncontrolled bleeding and severe pain.

Out of hours Emergency Social Work Service

The out of hours Emergency Social Work Service is available outside normal office hours and on weekends, Bank Holidays and Public Holidays for genuine emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. You can contact the service on 028 9504 9999.

Minor Injury Units

The minor injury units at Antrim Area and Mid Ulster Hospitals can treat injuries that are not critical or life threatening, such as injuries to upper and lower limbs, broken bones, sprains, bruises and wounds, burns and scalds, bites, cuts and wounds and eye injuries.

The units are open from 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Emergency Departments

Emergency Departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients, especially those with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma. Normal Emergency Department services will be operating throughout the holiday period as usual. The service is for those in need of emergency treatment.

999 Ambulance Services

As always, the emergency ambulance service will be there if you need it. Always dial 999 when there is a risk to life or of serious injury. But, if your call is not an emergency, then please use the most appropriate service and help keep the 999 system clear for life threatening emergencies. Remember, you could risk a life if you tie up an emergency line for a non-emergency call. Your call could delay someone with a real emergency. Keep emergency lines free.

Mental health emergency

If you or someone is in a mental health crisis or emergency it’s important to get immediate help. If you have been or are being treated for a mental health problem, you should have a care plan which should include details and telephone numbers of who you should call in an emergency. If you don’t have these details or a care plan you should contact your mental health key worker and request information on who you should contact if your are experiencing problems, crisis and or an emergency.

If you don’t have a care plan and/or you are unable to contact your key worker you should either:

• make an emergency appointment with your GP, or contact your GP out-of-hours service if the emergency is at    night, weekend or a public holiday; or
• go to the Emergency Department at a hospital which will on your behalf make contact with emergency mental health services.

In the event you can’t get the person you are caring for to an Emergency Department or you can’t keep them safe, you should call 999 and seek immediate assistance.

If you, or someone you know, needs help and you would like to speak to someone by telephone, you can also call Lifeline free, in confidence, 24/7 on 0808 808 8000.

Further information about health and social care services in your area and the Stay Well campaign can be found at 

The Health and Social Care Service would like to wish you a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year.

20th December 2016

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