Emergency health and care provision for holiday period

The Health and Social Care Board, together with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, local GPs, pharmacists and dentists have been working together to ensure that local people have access to emergency services over the Christmas and the New Year holiday period.

Dalriada Urgent Care, the out-of-hours service, will be operating for all GP practices from tomorrow (Friday) until practices open again next Wednesday (December 28) and again over the New Year period from Friday evening, December 30 until practices open on Tuesday, January 3. The telephone number for Dalriada Urgent Care is 028 2566 3500.

The Health and Social Care Board has also been working closely with local pharmacists to draw up holiday pharmacy rota arrangements. In Larne, the pharmacy at the health centre at Gloucester Avenue will be open between Noon-1pm on Christmas Day (Sunday), on Boxing Day and on Tuesday, December 27. The health centre pharmacy will also be open between Noon-1pm on New Year’s Day (Sunday, January 1) and again on Monday, January 2.

Details of emergency 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 or ring the out-of-hours number 028 2566 3510.

Normal accident and emergency services will be operating throughout the holiday period as usual. The Health and Social Care Board has urged that it is particularly important at this busy time of year that only those in genuine need of emergency treatment should attend A&E. In the first instance, you should contact your GP, or the out-of-hours GP service, for advice.

As always, the emergency ambulance services will be there if you need them. Always dial 999 when there is a risk to life or of serious injury. 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.

The out-of-hours Emergency Social Work Service will be 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) 9446 8833.

“Please use these services only when necessary,” the board appealed. “They are for problems which cannot wait.”