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Access to health services over Christmas and New Year 19 December 2012

Ambulance with Choose Well posterTo ensure that the public are aware of how and when to access key health services throughout the festive period, the Department of Health has published details of opening hours for its main public counters and drop-in services over Christmas and New Year. As well as providing details of opening times, the Department is also taking the opportunity to remind the public to use appropriate services for their needs.

Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:

“Christmas is a time for many to relax, celebrate and have a few days off work. But whilst many in our community will be enjoying the festivities, the Department will continue to work tirelessly to provide the key health services that are required to run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes looking after inpatients at both Noble’s and Ramsey and District Cottage hospitals, operating the out-of-hours GP service ‘MEDS’, and of course providing round the clock emergency care through the Island’s Ambulance Service and Accident and Emergency at Noble’s. I know I speak for many people when I say how deeply appreciative I am to staff within the Department and the wider health and social care system who work over the public holidays to provide these vital services.”

The Department’s ‘Choose Well’ campaign, which launched in 2011, encourages the public to think about which service is best suited to their needs. For a life threatening emergency such as chest pain, blood loss or a serious respiratory problem, the public should dial 999 immediately. However calling for an ambulance outside of an emergency situation can put a strain on the service and prevent an ambulance and paramedic team from being available for a serious emergency. It’s for this reason that the Department operates additional services, such as the out-of-hours GP service – MEDS (Manx Emergency Doctors Service) – ensuring that urgent GP care is available around the clock, as well as Accident and Emergency services at Noble’s Hospital which is open 24 hours a day, and the Minor Injuries Unit at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital between which is open between 8am and 8pm every day of the year, available to everyone on the Island.

Over Christmas and New Year, the following services are available for urgent and emergency care:

  • Paramedic and Ambulance Service for life threatening emergencies, dial 999
  • Accident and Emergency at Noble’s Hospital: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a drop-in basis, telephone 650040
  • Minor Injuries Unit at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital: 8am – 8pm every day on a drop-in basis, telephone 811800
  • Manx Emergency Doctor Service (MEDS): 24 hours a day during weekend and public holidays and 6pm – 8am on working days; the public should telephone their GP Surgery as usual and listen to the recorded message
  • Emergency Dental Clinic: 10am – 11am on Christmas Day and 9am – 11am on other public holidays and weekends, telephone 480365.

Other numbers which may be of use to the public:

  • The Samaritans – 627656
  • Alcohol Advisory Service – 627656
  • Drug Advice Service Helpline (DASH) – 615622
  • Alcoholics Anonymous – 663676
  • Duty Social Worker:
  • During working hours – 686179
  • Under 18s and families outside of working hours – 631212
  • Over 18s and mental health issues outside of working hours – 650000.

The Minister added:

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a healthy 2013.”

The public notice with full details of the opening times can be found by visiting www.gov.im/lib/docs/health/christmasandnewyearopeningtimes.pdf and will also feature in the local press.

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