Get to know where to go for health needs this Christmas.

Date Released - 12/12/2023

The NHS is always under extensive pressure, and that is no different over the Christmas period. It can be a great help ensuring you are going to the right place to receive your medical attention.

Getting to know where to go means you could receive support sooner, and emergency services are free to treat people who are in need of crucial attention. It will save you sitting around waiting in an A&E waiting room when it could be a quick visit to the pharmacist!

It is important to remember, advice and treatments for minor and clinical illnesses can be given at your local pharmacy. They can provide repeat prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Also, this can be arranged without having to book an appointment at your pharmacy. Most have private rooms for more confidential and personal issues. Drop offs can be arranged so prescriptions can be received without having to leave the house!

In addition, Dental support can be accessed via the Greater Manchester dental helpline (0333 332 3800), available from 8am to 10pm every day, including weekends and bank holidays for those who need help urgently when their practice is closed, or do not have a regular dentist.

Greater Manchester’s Urgent Eye Care Service can provide assessments and treatment quickly if a sudden change in vision, red or painful eyes or new flashes or floaters are seen. This is a free NHS service, made up of local optician teams. Available to anyone registered with a Greater Manchester GP. To find out more, visit

For your pharmacies opening times over the Christmas and New Year period visit: here.

For medical issues that cannot be treated at the pharmacy, call 111 or visit for assistance 27 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health & Wellbeing, said: “It is important to relieve pressure off the NHS where we can and by knowing the right place to get help we can help, we can all work together to help protect health services while getting the treatment and support we need.

“There are many services available to help you prioritise your mental and physical well-being we want to encourage the use of.”

There is an extensive number of services available to help, that you can make the most of. It is important to prioritise mental well-being as well as physical well-being. See below for more details of what support is available for you:


There are lots of foodbanks across Greater Manchester. Many of these services offer more than just food, some may offer support around mental health and wellbeing, food parcels, financial advice and support, community ran groups and much more.

For support in your local area, visit

Mental health crisis support

Free, 24/7 mental health crisis support is available across Greater Manchester. If you feel you need mental health support, please contact one of these 24/7 helplines - they’re available to anyone of any age. For Tameside residents the number is 0800 014 9995.

Bereavement support

If you have been bereaved and need support or advice, This service is available for anyone living or working in Greater Manchester who has been bereaved or affected by a death by whatever cause, no matter how long ago.

Call the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service on 0161 983 0902 or visit

Loneliness and social isolation support (Chatty Cafes)

The Chatty Café Scheme is a non-profit organisation tackling loneliness and offers three services designed to reduce loneliness and/or social isolation. They include face to face meet ups at venues offering ‘Chatter and Natter’ tables where customers can get together and have a chat, virtual sessions, and a telephone service.

For more information or to find your local Chatty Café visit

Support for older people (Winterwise Guide)

Greater Manchester is supporting older people to stay warm, safe and well this winter. The guide brings together key information for older people on cost-of-living support.


Free digital mental wellbeing support

Access free, safe, and anonymous professional support online. There is no waiting lists or referral needed and accessible 24/7

Support available includes: Live chat or messaging with qualified mental health professionals; self-help tools and activities;

Visit Kooth (for ages 10 to 25) or Qwell (for ages 26+)