Get to know where to go for health needs this Christmas and New Year

Date Released - 20/12/2022

NHS SERVICES can get overwhelmed at this time of year and it’s vital patients and potential patients use the correct service for whichever medical issue they are facing.

Tameside health and care services, like providers across the country, are facing significant strain so residents are being encouraged to get to know where to go when feeling unwell. The NHS is here for you and by going to the correct service you will get treatment sooner and help free up vital services for people who need urgent care.

Pharmacists can help with minor illnesses and injuries, and can recommend over-the-counter medicines. There’s no need to book an appointment and most have private rooms where the pharmacist can offer advice on minor ailments. People are encouraged to be prepared by ensuring they have enough of their repeat prescriptions, and are prepared for common illnesses with over-the-counter medicines.

For pharmacy Christmas and New Year opening times visit:

If someone has a sore mouth, teeth, or gums, contact your dentist. If you don’t have a dentist, or when they’re closed, call the emergency dental service 0333 332 3800, open 8am – 10pm every day.

Use an optician for any eye problems, like pain, flashes, floaters, or sudden vision or sight changes. Find your nearest opticians at: Anyone needing urgent eye care should visit

There are free, 24/7 mental health crisis helplines which cover all of Greater Manchester and the number to call for Tameside is 0800 014 9995. In an emergency when someone’s safety is at risk, go to the nearest A&E or call 999.

All GP practices in Tameside are open 8am – 6.30pm except for the Christmas and New Year bank holidays; practices, in their network groups, also have evening and Saturday appointments. The GP out-of-hours service is there when a GP practice is closed. For more information call your GP practice in the usual way and listen to the recorded message. Before you make an appointment to see your GP or health professional as part of the practice team, think about what other services might be able to help, such as your local pharmacist or by calling NHS 111. You can find more about the services available at Services | Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership (

Only go to A&E if it’s an emergency. People with the most serious conditions will be seen first, so you may need to wait. Only call 999 if someone’s life is at risk and you can’t get to a hospital.

Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health & Wellbeing, said: “We all need to work together at this time of year to protect our local NHS services. We can help to relieve some of the pressure our health service is facing this winter and approach the relevant service for our health condition.

 “Christmas and New Year is a very busy time of year but with your support we can help doctors, nurses and other health professionals across the borough.”

Not all illnesses or injuries need a health professional. For advice on treating health issues at home, go to: Anyone who needs urgent medical advice should visit or call 111, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.