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Home » News and events » Latest news » Guide to local NHS services available over Christmas and New Year

Guide to local NHS services available over Christmas and New Year

Local residents are being urged to use NHS services wisely and ensure they choose the right service for their illness or injury over the Christmas and New Year break.  
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Here you can find information on what you can do to stay well, what local services are available and how to contact the NHS if you need to. 

You can also download the Help us help you and your family stay well booklet that provides further information on NHS services and support available. This booklet is also available in Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Urdu and Punjabi.

Self care (look after yourself)

Stock up on essential over-the-counter medicines to treat common conditions at home such as colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains. Most of these medicines are available at low cost from your local pharmacy or from most supermarkets, with no GP appointment or prescription required.

This will not only help save you time so you feel better quicker, but will help to ease pressures on your local NHS services.

Medicine cabinet essentials include:       

  • painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen          
  • anti-diarrhoea tablets and rehydration powders   
  • indigestion treatment   
  • bandages and plasters   
  • antiseptic cream or spray   
  • first aid kit 

 You can also visit www.nhs.uk or the NHS App for health advice.

NHS App or NHS website 

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. The NHS App is available free to download on Google Play and Apple app stores. You can use the NHS App to: 

  • check your symptoms
  • get health advice and information on local services
  • get your NHS COVID pass
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • book appointments

You can also find information about how to manage your health and wellbeing on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk.  Here you will find a symptom checker, local service info, mental health support and the latest COVID-19 advice.


Pharmacies offer expert advice and treatment for a range of things including coughs and colds, aches and pains, allergies, emergency contraception, and non-prescription medication. 

All pharmacists are part of your local NHS services, they train for a minimum of five years, and are experts in medicines use and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Pharmacies are open across the area during Christmas and New Year, including some being open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. 

You can find which pharmacies are open near you below:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

General opening times for pharmacies are on the NHS UK website.

NHS 111 

If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, visit NHS 111 online first. NHS 111 online will help you right away and, if needed, a healthcare professional will call you.

You can use the NHS 111 service online at 111.nhs.uk or you can call 111, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your symptoms will be assessed, and you will be given healthcare advice. Depending on the situation, the team of trained advisors can connect you to a nurse, dentist or even a GP. 


Please check with your practice for their specific opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period. If you have an urgent medical concern when your GP is closed call NHS 111 or go to 111.nhs.uk Trained advisors will assess your condition over the phone and connect you to a nurse or GP if appropriate.

GP practices are open on Christmas Eve, 29 and 30 December and New Year's Eve. From Tuesday 4 January 2021 practices will be open as usual.

Minor Injury Units (MIU) and Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC)

There are a number of Minor Injury Units (MIU) and Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) across the county that can treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. 

No appointment required, opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period are as follows: 

Peterborough Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), Peterborough City Hospital, Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough PE3 9GZ.

Mon – Sun: 8am – 8pm. Including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays 

Ely MIU, Princess of Wales Hospital, Lynn Road, Ely, CB6 1DN

Mon – Fri: 8.30am-6pm (x-ray xxxxx)
Sat and Sun: 8.30am - 6pm (x-ray 1pm - 5pm)

Christmas Day: Closed
Bank Holidays: 8.30am – 6pm (X-ray 1pm - 5pm)

Doddington Minor Injury Unit, Benwick Rd, Doddington, March PE15 0UG

Mon to Fri: 8.30am - 6pm (x-ray 9am - 5pm)
Sat and Sun: 9am – 5pm (no x-ray)
Christmas Day: Closed

New Years Day: Closed

Bank Holidays: 9am - 5pm

Wisbech Minor Injury Unit, North Cambs Hospital, The Park, Wisbech, PE13 3AB 

Mon – Fri: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat and Sun: Closed
Christmas Day: Closed
Bank Holidays: Closed

Mental health

There are a number of services that you can access or self-refer to (self- refer means you do not need to have been referred by your GP or medical professional to use the service).

Online support 
  • Keep Your Head website provides information on mental health and wellbeing support available for young people and adults across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
  • How Are You (H.A.Y.) is a local website that brings together information on activities and support available in your local community to help boost mental health and wellbeing.
Someone to talk to 
  • Lifeline - Free, confidential helpline that you can call anonymously to talk to a trained volunteer. Lifeline is available daily 11am-11pm, and can be reached by calling 0808 808 2121
  • Samaritans - Local and national listening service. Freephone 116 123, open 24/7, 365 days a year.
Crisis support  

Sometimes our mental health gets worse quickly. If you feel you are in a mental health crisis, urgent support is available in our area 24/7 through 111 option 2 service. 

Simply dial 111 and select option 2. You will be put through to a trained advisor who will speak to you and discuss your current mental health needs.

Dental emergency and out-of-hours care

If you think you need urgent care, contact your usual dentist as some practices offer emergency dental slots and will provide care if necessary. You can also call NHS 111, who can put you in touch with an urgent dental service.