When you’re injured or unwell, choosing the right care, first time can save you time and effort, as well as helping us to make the best use of NHS resources.
This section provides an overview of a wide range of local NHS services, from pharmacists to GP surgeries and minor injuries units.
A lot of common illnesses and injuries can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicines, so make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet including:
As well as a first aid kit including:
However, if you are worried or not getting better, there are many alternatives available so 'Talk before you Walk' to make sure you get the right NHS care for you.
When you need help quickly but it's not an emergency, call NHS 111 where there are friendly, highly-trained staff available to talk to you direct about your health concerns. Advisors are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions about your symptoms and then offer healthcare advice or direct you to the service that can help you best.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is FREE to call from landlines or mobile phones.
Health information is also available around the clock at:
Pharmacies can treat a lot more than you think!
Diarrhoea / headache / sore throat / painful cough / runny nose / minor illnesses / upset stomach / skin conditions
Your pharmacist is a healthcare professional who can provide advice and treatment for these common conditions as well as dispensing prescriptions.
Pharmacies offer stop smoking advice, the morning-after pill, advice on how to manage your medicines – and most have private consulting rooms so you don't need to explain what's wrong with the possibility of other people listening in.
GP Surgeries are your first port of call for ongoing illnesses or injuries.
GPs, practice nurses and other members of the team can help with a range of services by appointment – but remember if you phone at a particularly busy time they may need to take a message and arrange to call you back later.
Make sure you get your repeat prescriptions before a bank holiday and check on older friends or relatives to make sure they are up to date.
If your surgery is closed, you can still contact your surgery for the out-of-hours service.
For more information on Urgent Care Centres and Walk in Centres click here
Only call 999 or go to A&E in a genuine life-threatening emergency.
Loss of consciousness / bleeding you can't stop / severe chest pain/ choking/ stroke/ blacking out
A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people with very serious or life-threatening illness.
At A&E the most seriously ill patients will be seen before those with less urgent care conditions. This means that some people have to wait for several hours or they may be signposted to their GP, pharmacist or other healthcare services who will be able to assist them.