Monday 19 September has been designated a bank holiday following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, meaning some healthcare services such as GP practices will close and pharmacies may change their opening hours.

NHS professionals in Sefton are sharing information on how to access healthcare support and plan ahead for the bank holiday.

Think 111 first

Anyone who needs healthcare support or advice, which is not an emergency, is encouraged to ‘think 111 first’ and use the NHS 111 online service: The 111 online service offers patients quick advice and the best options for getting the care they need, which can include getting a call back from a trained clinician or nurse, booking them an appointment in A&E, or providing advice on how to help them recover.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on bank holidays, and can also be accessed by phone by calling 111. NHS 111 online is not suitable for under fives. can help you with:

  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription
  • get emergency dental appointments

Planning your medication and seeking healthcare advice

To get medication or healthcare advice from a pharmacist in Sefton, residents can search ‘find a pharmacy NHS’ online or visit: to find an open pharmacy nearby. The NHS advises to phone ahead before travelling to a pharmacy, as opening times may be subject to change.

Residents should also plan ahead for any medication they need and make sure they have enough supply of prescription medications ahead of the weekend and bank holiday Monday.

Patients in Sefton needing a GP appointment over the weekend and bank holiday can book through the GP Extra service in south Sefton, which is running from 10am-1pm each day, or through the 7 Day GP Service in Southport and Formby, which is running from 9am-12pm on Saturday and Sunday and 5pm-9pm bank holiday Monday.

Appointments for these services must be pre-booked through the patient’s usual GP practice, so patients are advised to call their practice before they close on Friday 16 September to arrange this.

Patients who require an urgent GP appointment should contact NHS 111 either via the online service or by calling 111, where they will be assessed and referred to a suitable clinician where appropriate.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Anyone who has booked a COVID-19 autumn booster vaccination for Monday 19 September will receive a text message reminder 48 hours before their appointment. Anyone who would rather not attend on this date will be given the option of rescheduling their appointment.

Some vaccination sites may have cancelled appointments for the day, so any affected patients will receive a cancellation notice and be given the opportunity to re-book a new appointment.

Anyone who is eligible for an autumn booster jab or who has missed any of their other COVID-19 vaccinations can book an appointment online at: or find a walk-in vaccination site nearby here:

Help from a dentist

Anyone needing urgent dental treatment during the bank holiday is asked to contact their regular dentist if possible. Any residents who do not have a dentist can use NHS 111 online for information about the local out of hours service, or call the out of hours dental advice line for Cheshire and Merseyside on 0161 476 9651, between 8am-10pm every day.