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​Use NHS services wisely during the August bank holiday weekend


Plan ahead and make sure you have enough medicines and use NHS services wisely if you have an urgent health problem over the August bank holiday weekend.

That's the message from GPs at NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as residents and patients in the borough prepare to enjoy the three day break.

Merton CCG is reminding local patients that A&E is for emergencies and life-threatening illnesses only and that other health services are available locally if their GP practice is closed on the bank holiday Monday.  

Local GP and GP Commissioner Dr Tim Hodgson trained at St George's Hospital and spent eight years working in their Accident and Emergency Department.  He said there are a number of ways people could find the right service for them if they fall ill over the bank holiday weekend.

"If your GP surgery is closed and you haven't got a serious illness or injury you can call the 24/7 free NHS number 111 or visit the NHS Choices website to find the right service," he said.

"We are asking people to think before calling an ambulance or attending A/E, these services should not be used as an alternative for a GP.

"There are other health services in Merton that can provide quicker and more appropriate treatment if you have a minor injury or ailment.

"It is also important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough medicines to see you through the bank holiday weekend when your GP surgery will be closed."

Alternative NHS services available to Merton residents over the August are: 

  • Self-care – people suffering from minor ailments such as coughs, colds and grazes should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy.  See below for pharmacies open during the bank holiday.
  • GP out-of-hours service – If you need to see a doctor when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services are available on the usual surgery number or by calling NHS  111 direct and are staffed by local doctors and nurses who can offer advice or, if necessary, treatment at home or in a local health centre
  • Pharmacies – your local pharmacist is qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat headaches, an upset stomach and other common illnesses. They can also sometimes issue you with an emergency supply of your repeat medication without you having to speak to a doctor.
  • NHS 111 – NHS 111 is a free phone service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It offers a one-stop number for patients with urgent, but not life-threatening symptoms
  • Wilson Walk In Centre – with no appointment necessary your local walk in centre is managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries, such as cuts, burns, sprains and suspected breaks 
    Wilson Health Centre, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 4TP,
    Tel: 020 3458 5100
  • Urgent Care Centre - attend an urgent care centre if you have an urgent but non-life-threatening illness or condition.  Urgent care centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Urgent Care Centre, St George's Hospital, Blackshaw Rd, Tooting, SW17 0QT, Tel: 020 8672 1255
  • Urgent Care Centre, St Helier Hospital, SM5 1AA , Tel: 020 8296 2000

Residents can download a guide to local alternative services from here

The following Merton pharmacies are open on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August: ​

NAMEADDRESS 1Address 2Post codeTel Opening
Barkers Chemist80 Coombe LaneRaynes ParkSW20 0AX020 8946 966808:30 - 23:00
Boots the ChemistUnit 9, Tandem Retail ParkColliers WoodSW19 2TY020 8640 750609:00 - 18:00
Sainsburys Savacentre1 Merton High StreetPriory ParkSW19 1DD020 8542 115209:00 - 18:00
A.P.CHEMIST129 HIGH ST Colliers WoodSW19 2HR020 8542 322110.00am to 6.00 pm​