NHS Kent and Medway is reminding people to make sure they have enough medication to last them over Christmas and New Year, and pick up repeat prescriptions in plenty of time if they need them. It is also a good idea to check on medicine cabinet essentials now, such as over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies, plasters and a thermometer, to avoid running out over the festive season.

While there is pharmacy cover on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (full details below), it is much easier to be prepared.

Dr Nathan Nathan, Chair of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We do advise people to think now about their health needs over Christmas. No one wants to interrupt the present-opening or Christmas dinner to drive off in search of medication, plasters or a thermometer.

“With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make sure you and your family have everything you need to cope with day-to-day health problems.

“I would also like to remind patients that the out-of-hours GP service should not be used for repeat prescriptions. They offer urgent care for those people who cannot wait to be seen until their GP surgery re-opens.

“Please make sure you have everything you need, so the out-of-hours GP service and A&E are kept free for those patients who need them most.”

GP practices are open as usual on Christmas Eve, and from 27 December, but closed on the bank holidays: 25, 26 December and 1 January.

Services available over Christmas and New Year are:

• NHS Direct – for absolutely any health questions, around the clock, and to find your local NHS services, phone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
• Out-of-hours GP – for urgent help when your GP surgery is closed, phone 01634 891855
• Minor Injuries Units – treatment for injuries that need medical attention but are not life threatening, such broken arms and lower legs, sprains, cuts and minor burns:
Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, Sittingbourne: Open 9am to 9pm every day.
X-ray Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 8pm (01795 418300)
Sheppey Community Hospital, Sheppey: Open 9am to 9pm every day, except 25 December. X-ray Monday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm, Sunday from 10am to 8pm (01795 879104)
• Remember to only use A&E for life-threatening and serious illness and injuries
Over the festive period, the following pharmacies are open:
Christmas Day
Delmergate Ltd, Street End Road, Chatham: Open 6pm to 7pm(01634 402108)
Delmergate Ltd, Sunlight Centre, Richmond Road, Gillingham: Open 11am to 12 noon (01634 851427)
Delmergate Ltd, Wayfield Road, Chatham: Open 11am to 12 noon (01634 841967)
Karsons, City Way, Rochester: Open 10am to 2pm (01634 405700)
Boots, Rainham Shopping Centre, Rainham: Open 6pm to 7pm (01634 231191)

Boxing Day
Boots, Wilmot Street, Pentagon Centre, Chatham: Open 10am to 4pm (01634 405471)
Island, Aster Drive, Chatham: Open 4pm to 10pm (01634 891207)
Asda, Maidstone Road, Chatham: Open 9am to 5pm (01634 663010)
Boots, High Street, Gillingham: Open 10am to 4pm (01634 851475)
Karsons, City Way, Rochester: Open 10am to 6pm (01634 405700)
Merlin, Silverweed Road, Chatham: 11am to 12 noon (01634 861683)
Boots, Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham: Open 10am to 4pm (01634 388175)
Sainsbury’s, Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham: Open 10am to 5pm (01634 360256)
New Year’s Day
Boots, Wilmot Street, Pentagon Centre, Chatham: Open 10am to 4pm (01634 405471)
Island, Aster Drive, Chatham: Open 4pm to 10pm (01634 891207)
Asda, Maidstone Road, Chatham: Open 10am to 4pm (01634 663010)
Smiths, Canterbury Street, Gillingham: Open 11am to 12 noon (01634 851852)
Bryant Road, Strood, Rochester: Open 6pm to 7pm (01634 718039)
Karsons, City Way, Rochester: Open 10am to 6pm (01634 405700)
Lloyds, Kestrel Road, Lordswood, Chatham: Open 11am to 12 noon (01634 863372)
Sainsbury’s, Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham: Open 10am to 5pm (01634 360256)
A full list of pharmacies and their opening hours over Christmas and New Year is available at: The end of this link

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