Stay Well This Winter – your health and care services over Christmas and New Year

18th December 2020

This year, more than ever, the health and social care system would like to encourage everyone to look after themselves, both physically and mentally, and take actions that will help stay well during winter.

As we head into the holidays, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) together with the South Eastern HSC Trust, GPs, pharmacists and dentists, want to assure you that arrangements are in place should you or a member of your family become ill or have an accident over the Christmas and the New Year holiday period.

If you feel unwell, it is also important, to choose the service most appropriate to your symptoms, so you can get better quicker.

Self-care is the best choice to treat most minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses such as aches and pains, colds and upset stomachs can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest.


This year, the Pharmacy First service is being offered at participating community pharmacies. The Pharmacy First service is a winter initiative by the health service which enables patients to have a consultation virtually or in a private area with their local community pharmacist.

Pharmacists can offer advice and treatment for common conditions, recommend treatment and refer patients to other healthcare professionals as appropriate.

Christmas Day
25 December
Boxing Day
26 December
27 December
New Year's Day
1 January
BangorAbbey Pharmacy
82 Abbey Street, Bangor
11am - 12pm
Commercial openingCommercial openingClear Pharmacy
1-3 Clandeboye Rd
11am - 12pm
DownpatrickGordons Chemist
37 Market Street, Downpatrick
1pm - 2pm
Doris Pharmacy 45 St Patrick's Avenue
1pm - 2pm
Medicare (Deeny’s) Pharmacy
34 St Patrick's Avenue,
1pm - 2pm
Mooney Pharmacy
16 Irish St
1pm - 2pm
HolywoodBurns Pharmacy 100 Abbey Ring
11am – 12pm
Sweeney's Pharmacy
52 High Street Holywood
11am - 12pm
Commercial openingBoots
46 High Street Holywood
12pm - 1pm
16 Market Square
1pm - 2pm
Commercial openingCommercial openingCommercial opening
NewcastleGordons Chemist
16 Railway Street Newcastle
5pm - 6pm
McCann's Pharmacy
57 Main St
5pm - 6pm
Harte's Pharmacy
50 Main St
1pm - 2pm
Groves Pharmacy
165 - 176 Main Street
5pm - 6pm
NewtownardsGordons Chemist
2A Regent Street Nwetownards
11am - 12pm
Commercial openingCommercial openingCommercial opening
Ards peninsulaClear Pharmacy 44 New Harbour Road
4pm - 5pm
Millisle Pharmacy
41 Main Street
4pm - 5pm
Commercial openingBallywalter Pharmacy
59/63 Main St
4pm - 5 pm

GP services

Same day appointments will be available when GP surgeries re-open from 29th December 2020 and 4th January 2021. Contact your GP on the usual numbers.
GP practices will be closed from 25th December 2020 – 28th December 2020 and 1st January 2021.

GP Out-of-hours

GP Out of Hours is for urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed.

Newtownards                       (028) 9182 2344

Downpatrick and Lisburn   (028) 9260 2204

Emergency Departments

  • Ulster Hospital Emergency Department

The Ulster Hospital Emergency Department will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Lagan Valley Emergency Department

The Emergency Department in Lagan Valley hospital will be open 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday. Outside these hours, patients should either attend the Ulster Hospital Emergency Department, Royal Victoria Hospital Emergency Department or the Mater Emergency Department.

Urgent Care Centre

  • Downe Urgent Care Centre

The Urgent Care Centre in the Downe Hospital will be closed on Christmas Day, however a nurse led minor injuries service will be in place. The centre will open as normal on Monday 28 December 2020. Patients requiring treatment should contact the centre first by phoning (028) 4483 8091 before attending.

Minor Injury Units

  • Downe Minor Injuries Unit

The Minor Injuries Unit in the Downe Hospital will be open on Christmas Day from 9am – 5pm and will also be open as normal on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 December 2020 and Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 January 2021. Patients requiring treatment should contact the unit first before attending. Telephone (028) 4483 8091

  • Ards Minor Injuries Unit

Ards Minor Injuries Unit will be closed on Christmas Day and will open as normal on Monday 28 December 2020. Patients requiring treatment should contact the unit first before attending. Telephone (028) 9151 0110

Out of hours Dental Services

For out of hours urgent dental problems, patients should ring their dental surgery or if they are not registered with a dentist, they should contact a local dentist. Dentists will have arrangements in place to offer advice, prescription for pain relief or referral to an Urgent Dental Care Centre.
Urgent Dental Care Centres will operate morning clinics from 25th December 2020 to 28th December 2020 and from 1st Jan 2021 to 3rd Jan 2021 on a referral basis only.

Urgent eye care

If you have an urgent eye problem during the holiday period please contact your local Optometrist in the first instance. If your Optometry practice is closed and your eye problem is very urgent and cannot wait until normal opening hours, please contact your nearest hospital Emergency Department.

Out-of-hours Emergency Social Work Service

The out of hours Emergency Social Work Service is available outside normal office hours and on weekends, Bank Holidays and Public Holidays for genuine emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. You can contact the service on (028) 9504 9999.

Mental health emergency

For mental health emergencies, call Lifeline free, in confidence, 24/7 on 0808 808 8000.
For COVID-19 related mental health and wellbeing, see