The public are being asked to ‘choose well’ if they need to access health services over the festive period. Despite Christmas and New Year being a time of rest and relaxation for many, the Department of Health keeps key services running all year round. By asking the public to ‘choose well’ the Department is emphasising the role the public plays in selecting the most appropriate method of care.
Outside of normal working hours and during public holidays, it’s easy to assume that the only care available is a trip to Accident and Emergency or calling an ambulance. Whilst these should always be the first port of call in an emergency, numerous services continue to operate over the festive period, either with reduced hours or with emergency drop-in clinics.
The following services are available for urgent and emergency care:
- For life threatening emergencies, dial 999
- Accident and Emergency at Noble’s Hospital – open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a drop-in basis, telephone 650040
- Minor Injuries Unit at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital – open 8am to 8pm every day on a drop-in basis, telephone 811800
- Manx Emergency Doctor Service (MEDS) – operates 24 hours a day during weekends and public holidays and 6pm to 8am on working days; the public should telephone their GP Surgery as usual and listen to the recorded message
- Emergency Dental Clinic – operates from 10am to 11am on Christmas Day and 9am to 11am on other public holidays and weekends, telephone 480365
- A pharmacy will be open in Douglas, Ramsey, Peel and the south of the Island for one hour on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Other numbers which may be of use to the public:
- The Samaritans – 663399 or 0845 790 9090 – a safe 24 hour helpline for any sort of worries or problems
- ChildLine – 0800 1111 – the free, 24 hour, confidential helpline for children
- The Sliver Line – 0800 4 70 80 90 – the free, 24 hour, confidential helpline for older people
- Motiv8 – addiction support services:
o Alcohol Advisory Service – 627656
o GamCare – 622011
o DrugAware – 627650
- Alcoholics Anonymous – 663676
- Department of Social Care referrals:
o Adult Services Team – 686179 (option 1)
o Children and Families Initial Response Team – 686179 (option 2)
o Under 18s and families outside of working hours – 631212
o Over 18s and outside of working hours – 650000
- For Mental Health Service issues outside of normal working hours – 650000.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said: “I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to all those in the public and voluntary sectors who will be working over the festive period to keep key services running – it’s all too easy to forget just how many people in our community sacrifice time with their loved ones at this time of year to serve the public. In addition I would take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2014.”