Stay well over Christmas

Pharmacy opening hours over Christmas and New Year for Sunderland.

Urgent Care Centres:

  • Washington Primary Care Centre, Parkway, Washington, NE38 7QZ.
  • Bunny Hill Primary Care Centre, Downhill, Sunderland, SR5 4BW
  • Houghton Primary Care Centre, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 5HB

Centres are open 10am to 10pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and all other Bank Holidays.

If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straight away to the best service for you in your area.  For more information please click here. It gives you further advice on both common winter illnesses and lists the best places to go for help.

Sunderland GP and the CCG’s urgent care lead, Dr Tracey Lucas, offers some top tips on where to go if you fall ill over winter:

Metro Radio’s breakfast hosts Steve and Karen have produced the video below along with Sunderland CCG’s Gemma Donovan to provide top tips.


The CCG would encourage people to try to treat common winter ailments at home where possible or following the advice of a pharmacist. Doing so will help keep valuable appointments with doctors and nurses open for those who may be in greater need.

• Keep warm – This may prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
• Eat well – Food gives you energy, which helps keep you warm. So try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.

The Christmas holiday period is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the NHS, as people who are usually in good health, perhaps wake up one morning feeling under the weather and don’t know what to do.

Demand for NHS services goes up during the winter months, so it’s crucial that services are available for people who need them most.

Winter weather means more slips and trips – and generally more of us feeling unwell as we spend more time indoors and coughs, colds and other viruses are passed around.

That adds up to more people wanting to see their GP, attend Accident and Emergency or call 999. But it’s important to stop and consider the best service for your needs.

Most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999. Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with advice from a local pharmacist, with painkillers, rest and plenty of fluids.

Doing so will help reduce the spread of winter viruses and also keep appointments available for people with serious health conditions who must see a doctor or nurse.