Dr John Caine

With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in West Lancashire are urging everyone to prepare now to make sure they’re fully ready should they or a loved one become unwell in the holiday season.

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to make sure that residents know the little steps to take in order to help the NHS help you, such as stocking up on over the counter medicines.

Help us Help You

Across the region there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

Pharmacy Services

Several pharmacies will be open throughout the Christmas bank holiday period and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit the CCG’s website and check out their Twitter and Facebook pages for on the day updates.

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common winter illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.

Pharmacy opening times on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are below.  Normal opening times apply on other days:

Pharmacies Christmas Day Boxing Day New Year’s Day
Rowlands, Tarleton, PR4 6TU 10am – 1pm 10am – 1pm CLOSED
Ormskirk Pharmacy, L39 2BY 10am – 1pm CLOSED CLOSED
O’Brien’s Pharmacy, Burscough, L40 0SA 10am – 1pm 10am – 1pm 10am – 1pm
Rowlands, Skelmersdale, WN8 6UH 10am – 1pm CLOSED CLOSED
Asda Pharmacy, Skelmersdale, WN8 6LA CLOSED 9am – 6pm 10am – 5pm
Morrisons Pharmacy, Ormskirk, L39 3RB CLOSED 10am – 4pm 10am – 4pm
Trust Pharmacy, Hesketh Bank, PR4 6SN CLOSED CLOSED 10am – 1pm
Rowlands, Ormskirk, L39 1NL CLOSED 10am – 1pm CLOSED
Rufford Pharmacy, Rufford, L40 1SB CLOSED CLOSED 10am – 1pm
Boots, Ormskirk, L39 3RB CLOSED 11am – 4pm CLOSED


You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting www.nhs.uk. This useful website also includes a handy symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines. You can also access NHS 111 online, by visiting www.111.nhs.uk.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. A GP will be available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays (local GP practice times may vary). If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery.

If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 311 22 33.

In West Lancashire, patients can also now access a GP in the evening and at the weekend, seven days a week, including all bank holidays (except Christmas Day).

The service is offered from Sandy Lane Health Centre in Skelmersdale, Ormskirk Medical Centre and Burscough Health Centre, and to see all dates, times and services available, please visit the CCG’s website: www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/help-us-help-you

GP Practice Christmas Day Boxing Day New Year’s Day
Sandy Lane Health Centre CLOSED 10am – 4pm CLOSED
Ormskirk Medical Practice CLOSED CLOSED 10am – 2pm
Burscough Health Centre CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED

To book an appointment to see a GP in the evening or weekend, simply call your GP practice and make an appointment as you would do normally.

This is a pre-booked service. If you or a loved one falls ill in the evening, when your GP is closed, call freephone NHS 111 or visit your nearest walk-in centre.

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated quickly using the out-of-hours service

Walk-in centres

West Lancashire has two walk-in centres.  The West Lancashire Urgent Care Centre (formally referred to as the West Lancashire Walk-in Centre) in Ormskirk, which is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ, and the Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse, Skelmersdale, WN8 6LJ, both of which are open seven days a week, from 8am – 8pm. Although over the Christmas and New Year Bank Holiday opening times will vary.

The staff within these centres, can treat minor injuries and minor ailments.

Walk-in Centres Normal opening times Christmas Day Boxing Day New Year’s Day
Ormskirk Hospital

(L39 2AZ)

8am – 8pm everyday 9am – 5pm 8am-8pm 8am-8pm
The Concourse Skelmersdale (WN8 6LJ) 8am – 8pm everyday 10am – 2pm 8am-8pm 8am-8pm

To access help, visit the respective centre that you would like to use and speak to the receptionist. Once you are booked in, you will be seen by a clinician who will decide how urgent your case is and you will be then be seen in priority order.


For emergency treatment when your dentist is closed, call 0300 1234 010.

Patient Access

Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

Dr John Caine, a GP in West Lancashire and chair at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “During the winter months and especially over the festive period, it is really important we all know where to go if we, or a loved one falls ill.

“If you have a repeat prescription ensure that you don’t leave it too late to get the medicine you need. And remember that for anything non-urgent, such as minor illnesses like coughs and colds, scrapes or sprains you can visit your local pharmacist in the first instance, who will be able to assist.

“It’s important that we keep GP appointments free for more urgent medical needs.”

For all of the important information you need to stay well this winter in West Lancashire visit: www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/help-us-help-you.

For up to the minute information on where to go if you fall ill during the bank holiday, visit your local CCG’s websites, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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