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Patients urged to think twice before attending A&E this festive period

Emergency Department

Patients are being asked to think twice before using urgent care services in Lancashire and South Cumbria over the festive period.

Our A&E and urgent care services are currently experiencing significant pressures and coupled with strike action taking place this week, this means that people attending A&E can expect a long wait before being seen.

Urgent and emergency care

The number of people attending our Emergency Department at the Royal Preston and Assessment and Treatment Centre at Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital is very high. Our teams are working exceptionally hard to see everyone who needs our help as soon as we possibly can.

Our urgent and emergency care services are for people with a life-threatening conditions and people attending our ED with more minor conditions may experience a long wait before being seen. We are therefore urging people to consider using other local health services including their local pharmacy or GP before attending A&E. You can find a list of pharmacies open over the festive period here.

If you’re unsure which service to use, please call 111 or visit 111 online.


With Christmas just around the corner, we are urging people to stock up their medicine cabinets and order repeat prescriptions in good time. Coughs and colds are extremely common at this time of year, so pain relief such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen is useful to keep at home to cope with aches, pains and high temperatures. Indigestion relief remedies, anti-diarrhoea tablets and oral rehydration salts are also good to have to hand, as well as a first aid kit, including a thermometer and ice and heat packs for pain – especially when slips and falls are more likely in frosty conditions.

GP and pharmacy services over the festive period

Most GP practices and pharmacies will be closed or have limited opening hours over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, so making sure you have enough medication at home to cover the festive break is really important. You can order repeat prescriptions online, through the NHS App or through your GP surgery.

Flu, COVID and other Winter Illnesses

Winter illnesses like flu and COVID are circulating in the community and we are seeing high numbers of patients with the flu virus and COVID. Please help protect yourself and your family this winter and get your flu vaccination and COVID booster jab. To find out if you are eligible, and to book, visit

Getting people home

Our wards have a high number of patients who are waiting to be discharged and our teams are working very hard to help them go home and receive the ongoing care and support they need. Hospital isn’t always the right place for people to be and our teams are supporting patients to be in the best environment to aid their recovery.

We wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

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