Stock up and stay well this Christmas bank holiday

Ahead of the Christmas and New Year bank holiday weekends, Londoners are urged to prepare for their healthcare needs early and to take precautions to stay healthy while enjoying the holidays.
With some GPs and pharmacies closed or working reduced hours, it is important for people to order or collect any repeat prescriptions in advance. 

It is also advised that Londoners keep up to date with their flu or Covid vaccinations before meeting up with loved ones over the festive break. Vaccinations can be booked at

Dr Chris Streather, Medical Director for the NHS in London said: 

“NHS staff across the capital will continue to deliver care to those who need it over Christmas and New Year, but along with an already busy winter, we anticipate emergency services to be busier than usual. 

“Order and collect any repeat prescriptions early and ensure you have enough medication to last the long weekends. By planning in advance, you will be protecting yourself and reducing pressures on emergency services. 

“With no restrictions on socialising this year, we want to keep people safe and out of hospitals, therefore along with stocking up on necessary medication, please come forward for your flu and Covid jabs when invited, to give yourself maximum protection against these viruses.” 

For general health advice or for anyone that is injured or unwell but it is not a life-threatening emergency, using the NHS 111 online service is advised to get quickly directed to the most suitable services. 

A reminder to those socialising in London over Christmas and the New Year is to drink responsibly and only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency. 

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to more serious complications, especially for those over 65 or for people who have a long-term health condition. Checking in on vulnerable friends, neighbours or relatives, is particularly important as temperatures drop. Helping vulnerable people by ensuring they are safe, warm, and have enough food and medicine will mean they can avoid going outside during very cold weather.

A list of pharmacies that are open over the bank holiday weekends can be found here. The regularly updated NHS Find a Pharmacy site also provides updates of the opening hours for local pharmacies.

Those seeking urgent medical or dental advice or care, should contact their GP practice or use the NHS 111 online service for quick support and information.