Plan ahead and look out for the elderly over the festive period

Families across Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby are being urged to look out for the elderly and plan ahead for Christmas and the New Year in order to stay well.

Many winter illnesses eventually clear up on their own, so there is not always a need to see a GP for treatment. They can be treated at home using over-the-counter products that are available from your local pharmacy.

As with previous years, many local pharmacies and GP practices have specific opening and closing times over the next couple of weeks. The local NHS is therefore asking people to check details and prepare for the holiday period by:

  • Checking the opening and closing times of local pharmacists who can provide health advice and medicines for common health problems
  • Checking the opening and closing times of their GP practice ensuring they only make appointments when necessary
  • Stocking-up on their medicine from local pharmacies or supermarkets and ordering regular prescriptions in advance
  • Taking care of elderly relatives and neighbours making sure they are warm and well

Dr Charles Parker, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This time of year often sees an increase in usage of accident and emergency (A&E) services as well as admissions to hospital – which are sometimes, unnecessary. Our GP surgeries are also very busy.

“So it’s important to remember there is also the NHS 111 service which is open 24/7. Calling NHS 111 can help you if you need medical help or advice urgently but it’s not life-threatening. It connects you to a team of fully trained call advisers who are supported by experienced nurses, paramedics, and GPs.  

“They will ask questions to assess the symptoms, and give healthcare advice or direct you to a local NHS service. If necessary, they can also call an ambulance or direct you straight to A&E. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone. Just dial 111.

“Looking out for an elderly relative, friend or neighbour is also important this time of year. Check if they have enough food and drink over the festive period as well as popping in to check they’re not lonely. As older people are more at risk of falls – particularly when the paths outside are icy, they may need help getting to local health services to pick up prescriptions or get to appointments.”

Details of pharmacy opening and closing times for Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby areas can be found on the CCG’s website:



For further information contact HRW CCG Communications and Engagement on 01609 767621



NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (the CGG) is responsible for the planning and purchasing of the vast majority of health services across the area - this includes hospital care, mental health and community services.

National NHS winter campaign information: