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Bolton’s GP surgeries are open from 8.00am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday.

Parents will be pleased to know that children under 12 must be assessed on the same day if they call their GP for an appointment. This could be a telephone consultation to begin with however, a child may be invited down to the practice if required. In cases where a child needs urgent hospital care, this can be arranged directly by the GP.

Access to GP surgeries outside of core hours

The GP out of hours service can be contacted by phoning BARDOC on 0161 763 8940 after 6.30pm on weekday evenings, or at any time on weekends and bank holidays.

The Extended GP Hours service is available for pre-booked appointments with a GP or a nurse in the evenings and at weekends. To request one of these appointments, contact your GP practice as usual and if clinically appropriate they will be able to book you into one of three hubs at: Waters Meeting Health Centre, Winifred Kettle Centre, or the Urgent Treatment Centre based at the Royal Bolton Hospital (access via the main entrance).

If you need help with an urgent dental problem, call the Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service on 0333 332 3800 from 8am to 10pm every day, including weekends and bank holidays.

You can only get an appointment with this service if you don’t have a dentist or if your dentist is closed. This is an appointment-only service – no drop-in service is available.

If you need help finding an NHS dentist, visit the NHS website.

Lots of minor illnesses can be effectively treated at home. Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet to help relieve any minor symptoms.

Examples of when you should use self care would be hangovers, minor cuts and bruises along with coughs and colds.

Pharmacies can help with lots of minor conditions, such as headaches, coughs and colds, rashes, diarrhoea/vomiting, earache.

Most prescriptions are now generated electronically from GP practices. However, it still takes a few days for them to be processed, ready for collection or delivery. So, if your GP writes you a prescription it won’t immediately be ready at your pharmacy – even if they are just next door to each other.

Repeat prescriptions can take up to seven days to process, but if your medication is urgent, please let your pharmacist know.

If your GP prescribes you medication that needs to be started straight away, like pain relief or antibiotics, please check with your pharmacy as to when it will be ready – they will need time to prepare it for you.

You can always contact your pharmacy by phone, either for advice about minor ailments or ring ahead if you’re intending to collect a prescription.

Mental Health Crisis Line (all ages)

The free Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) is available to anyone in Bolton, Salford, Trafford and the city of Manchester.

You or a family member,can call the helpline at any time: 0800 953 0285. https://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/247-helpline/

Single Point of Access (SPoA) (age 16+)

For help with anxiety or depression, contact SPoA 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

SPoA can refer you to the best service to help you.

Contact 01204 483101 or visit the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust website for more information.


Whatever you are facing, the Samaritans are there to listen in confidence and without judgement. A free telephone support is available 24/7, including over the Christmas period.

Call 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website for more ways to get in touch.


The charity provides one-to-one and drop-in group support in Bolton for people living with a mental health condition. Support is available most days, including Christmas Day.

Band has a social space at Unit 9C, Market Place – previously Cafe Dolce.

Contact the social space on 01204 380643, BAND’s office on 01204 38064 or email band@family-action.org.uk.

More information is on the BAND website.


Online counselling and emotional well-being support for children and young people aged 10 to 25 years


Online counselling and emotional wellbeing support for anyone aged 26 and over


National charity which helps young people under the age of 35 who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, or help for those worried about someone.

Call 0800 068 41 41 or visit the Papyrus website.

Be Kind to My Mind

Children, young people and parents/carers can find out what mental health support is available in Bolton on Bolton’s mental health anti-stigma campaign website www.bekindtomymind.co.uk. There is a directory of services, an A-Z mental health section and a parent/carer section.

Bolton SEND Local Offer

Information for families about the support available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.


Staying Safe

The Staying Safe website offers compassion, kindness and easy ways to help keep people safer from thoughts of harm and suicide, seek support and discover hope of recovery through powerful videos from people with personal experience.

The website provides vital ‘Safety Plan’ guidance tools, with easy to print / online templates and guidance video tutorials purposefully designed to help people through the process of writing their own Safety Plan to build hope, identify actions and strategies to resist suicidal thoughts and develop positive ways to cope with stress and emotional distress.


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