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 Southern 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.

Daisy Hill Emergency Department.

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.  

Newry Rota Chemists

Christmas Day: McKeevers Chemists, 11 Marcus Square, Hill Street, Newry 6pm – 7.30pm

St Stephen's Day: Commercial opening/ usual trading hours according to individual Chemists

Sunday 27 December: McNally’s Late Night Pharmacy, 5A Monaghan Street, Newry 6pm – 7.30pm

New Years Day: Commercial opening/ usual trading hours according to individual Chemists.

GP services

Same day appointments will be available when GP surgeries re-open from 29 December 2020 and 4 January 2021. Contact your GP on the usual numbers.  

GP practices will be closed from 25 December 2020 – 28 December 2020 and 1 January 2021.

GP Out-of-hours 

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

Southern Trust 028 3839 9201

Covid Centres

Operating as normal over the Christmas period (7 days per week 8am-10pm)

Please note access to Covid Centres is via a GP practice or Out of Hours referral.  

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 25 December 2020 to 28 December 2020 and from 1 Jan 2021 to 3 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.

Emergency Departments

Emergency Departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma.  

The Phone First service is now in operation at Daisy Hill Hospital, Craigavon Area Hospital and South Tyrone Hospital Minor Injuries Unit.

People who are unwell, have an illness or injury which requires urgent treatment but is not life threatening and are considering travelling to the Emergency Departments (EDs) and Minor Injuries Units should ‘Phone First’.

Phone First 0300 123 3 111

Interpreter Now Phone First text relay number 18001 0300 123 3 111

The service operates from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

For all emergencies that are life threatening, always call 999 immediately. This can include: Stroke, heart attack, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding or major trauma.

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 COVIDWELLBEINGNI.INFO

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