Know where to go for NHS services in Tower Hamlets this Christmas

Know where to go for NHS services in Tower Hamlets this Christmas

People in Tower Hamlets are being encouraged to ‘know where to go’ for healthcare in case they are taken ill or injured over the Christmas and New Year period. 

The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for local GP practices and hospitals. To ensure everyone can receive the care and treatment they need, it is important to remember there are a number of ways to get advice and support from the NHS.

This includes visiting your local pharmacy for help treating coughs, colds and other minor ailments, and calling NHS 111 free if you need health advice urgently. It is also advisable to keep your medicine cabinet stocked to help you deal with any minor health issues.

If you have a long-term health condition, you should ensure you prepare for the upcoming bank holidays by requesting well in advance any repeat prescriptions you might need.

Over the festive period, people in Tower Hamlets have a number of healthcare options:


  • NHS 111 service – If you need medical help fast, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including bank holidays, the freephone number is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.


  • Pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy where you seek help without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. A number of pharmacies will be open in Tower Hamlets over the festive period, including Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s Day Monday. The full list of pharmacy opening times for Christmas and New year 2017 is available to download on the side of this page.


  • GP out of hours service – If you are unwell outside your GP’s normal opening hours, you can call the Tower Hamlets out of hours GP service on 030 0033 5000. It is open 6.30pm to 8am, Monday to Friday, and 24 hours a day during weekends and bank holidays. A call handler will take your details and a GP will then return your call.


  • Walk-in services – These can treat most minor injuries that are urgent, but not life threatening, including suspected broken bones, cuts and rashes, minor burns, bruises, bites and stings. There are two GP-led walk-in services in Tower Hamlets and both are open 8am to 8pm every day of the week, including bank holidays: 

The Barkantine walk-in service

21 Westferry Road, Isle of Dogs, London E14 8JH.   Phone: 0207 510 4000

St Andrews Health Centre

2 Hannaford Walk, London E3 3FF.  Phone: 020 8980 1888


  • For more information about the local healthcare services available in Tower Hamlets, you can search for details via myhealthlondon on the CCG’s website here or visit


Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Being well prepared is essential at this time of year. This includes making sure you know where to go for NHS care as there are a number of options locally.  

“Choosing the right service ensures that you receive treatment you need in the right place at the right time – allowing our urgent care teams to focus on those who need them most.

“As well as being a valuable source of advice and offering over-the-counter medicines and services such as flu vaccinations, pharmacies can provide repeat prescriptions – but please be aware that the NHS receives many requests for these during this period. 

“Ordering your repeat prescriptions well in advance will ensure you are well prepared for the four-day Christmas bank holiday weekend. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, you can assist them by asking if they need help collecting their medications.”


For more advice to help you and your family stay well this winter, visit