Over the bank holidays, it's important that you know how to get help if you need it. Preparing in advance for the bank holidays is a good idea, so make sure that you've got enough prescription medication left and try to follow the advice below to keep yourself well.

If you're worried about your health over a bank holiday weekend, don't delay. Your NHS wants to see you - help us help you get the care you need.

Where to go for the right help

For mental health support

Talking Therapies services offer help for common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression for anyone age 16 and over in England. For residents of Cheshire West, Central Cheshire and South Cheshire find your local service here. Wirral residents can find Talking Therapies support here. Cheshire East residents here

If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse or deteriorates, this can be called a ‘mental health crisis’. In this situation, it is important to get help quickly. Please call 0800 145 6485 and our dedicated local staff will support you to access the help you need. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to people of all ages, including children and young people. 

Alternatively, the Shout text messaging service is also available if you are unable to call. Text 'BLUE' to 85258 to start a conversation, via text, with a trained volunteer, who will provide free and confidential support.

For more information, visit our urgent help webpage.

For urgent advice or emergencies

If you think you need medical help right now or think you need to go to an emergency department (A&E), use NHS 111 first. They will tell you what to do next and provide clinical advice or direction to the most appropriate services for treatment. Visit the NHS 111 website.

Dial 999 for life-threatening emergencies.

For other health needs

For all other health needs, contact your pharmacy or GP practice. High-street pharmacies can provide expert advice, and you can find your nearest 24-hour or out of hours pharmacy on the NHS website.

It's also possible to speak to a GP in the evening, at weekends and on a bank holiday. If you call your GP practice outside of office hours, you will hear a recorded message that explains how to get in touch with a GP. This may be through contacting NHS 111.

You can also access NHS advice and information on the NHS website

Tips to stay well over the bank holidays

There are things you can do to stay well over the bank holidays and reduce the risk of needing urgent care. Take a look at the tips below:


Make sure you get your prescription medicines before a bank holiday. It can take a couple of days for a repeat prescription to come through and you don't want to run out. If you've been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed. 

You can order prescriptions via GP or pharmacy websites, by calling them, or via NHS-approved apps. To find out which pharmacies are open over the bank holiday, please visit the Cheshire and Merseyside website.

You can also order your repeat prescriptions via the NHS App, as well as make GP appointments. The NHS App is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

Check your medicine cabinet

Ask your pharmacist what medicines should be in your cabinet to help you and your family. Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common illnesses such as colds, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache). Your pharmacist can help if you need any advice. To manage symptoms of common illnesses at home, you should rest, drink plenty of fluids, have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up and use over-the-counter medicines to help give relief. For more information search ‘medicines’ on the NHS website

Keep active.jpgThere’s strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. Regular exercise can help improve your mental health, reduce the risk of falling and can be beneficial for recovery if you do get ill.

Try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down during the day. Break up your time spent being inactive by walking around your home or standing up from your chair during TV advert breaks or when you’re on the phone.

There are many activities you could do at home, such as walking up and down stairs, dancing, gardening, housework, or taking part in online fitness classes.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and keeps you moving. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or lightheaded and stay hydrated.

For tips on keeping active go to the NHS keep active webpage or have a look at the Age UK website.

6.jpgWashing your hands with soap and water is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, flu and COVID-19. Wash your hands thoroughly for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (around 20 seconds).

You should wash your hands:

  • once you get home, or into work
  • after using the toilet or changing a nappy
  • before and after handling raw foods like meat and vegetables
  • before eating or handling food
  • after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • before and after treating a cut or wound
  • after touching animals, including pets, their food and after cleaning their cages

Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects. If you do not have immediate access to soap and water then use alcohol-based handrub. For more information go to the NHS handwashing webapge.