Public thanked for continued support during exceptionally busy Christmas period

Hard-working NHS teams in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who spent Christmas Day away from their family and friends have thanked the public for their continued support and cooperation during what has been, and continues to be, a very busy festive period.

Staff on the frontline in the region’s three large hospitals, as well as those working in the community, in patients’ own homes and at urgent treatment centres, experienced an exceptionally busy Christmas weekend, with demand for care staying at a consistently high level.

Call handlers for the region’s NHS 111 also had a very busy bank holiday weekend, with near-record demand for the telephone-based healthcare service. Now, in the run-up to the new year, NHS teams are asking the public to continue doing what they can to ease the pressure on an already-busy local health and care system.

People can play their part by choosing the right health and care service when looking for help, continuing to enjoy the festive seasons sensibly and, wherever possible, practicing effective self-care, such as visiting a pharmacy, resting at home and following advice from NHS 111 online.

Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “We always expect the days before, during and after Christmas to be very busy, and this year has been no exception.

“Our dedicated teams have worked flat-out over the last couple of days to make sure that care could be given to all those who need it, and I’d like to thank them for all they have done and continue to do.

“And while most people continue to enjoy the festivities, the doors to the NHS will remain open, and we once again ask all those living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to show their support at this busy time.

“Although it may seem insignificant, the small actions that all families can take, such as choosing the right service and helping to get a loved-one home from hospital, really do make a difference.

“On behalf of the local NHS, I’d like to thank the public for their continued support, cooperation and good nature throughout 2022, and wish everyone nothing but the best for the coming new year.”

Both NHS 111 online and the NHS website can provide bespoke advice and information that is based on a person’s specific symptoms, while also signposting to other sources of help and support.

People can also seek quick healthcare advice from their nearest community pharmacy, with most sites able to offer private consultations without an appointment.

Any person intending to visit a pharmacy is advised that most sites are currently
operating with reduced opening hours.

A full list of the Christmas and New Year opening times for all pharmacies located in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire can be found online at