HEALTH services have urged the public to help ease seasonal pressures on GP practices and hospitals.

They have issued a list of pharmacies open across the whole of Dorset over the Christmas and New Year period.

Bournemouth and Poole pharmacies open over Christmas 2019.pdf

Dorset pharmacies open over Christmas 2019.pdf

And they have urged people to make their local pharmacy a first point of call.

They said medicines can be purchased over the counter for a range of minor illnesses including sore throats, cold sores, conjunctivitis, coughs, diarrhoea, indigestion, heartburn and headaches.

Katherine Gough, Chief Pharmacist at NHS Dorset CCG, said: "Make your local pharmacist your first port of call this winter. Generally, over-the-counter medicines will help ease symptoms of common winter illnesses. We have over 140 pharmacies across Dorset, offering late, weekend and bank holidays opening hours.

"Most conditions will clear up on their own, but if your illness does persist, visit your pharmacist again and they will be able to advise if a GP appointment is necessary. Most pharmacies offer consultation rooms if you would like to discuss your illness in private.

"Over the Christmas period, allow some extra time for prescriptions. To save you time, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about arranging electronic prescriptions. If you’re visiting family or friends elsewhere and require emergency medication, pharmacists will be able to advise and in may provide you with a short-term supply."

For more information on how to use self-care techniques to keep you and your family well this winter, go to