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 straightaway to the best service for you in your area.
Ask your pharmacist
Pharmacists are expert in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.
See your family doctor
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures. Your GP will arrange a referral to a hospital specialist should you need it.
Visit a walk-in centre
NHS walk-in centres offer quick access to treatment for a wide variety of minor illnesses and injuries, including infections, vomiting and stomach aches. Most are managed by nurses and some also have doctors. Walk-in centres are open outside office hours and you don’t need an appointment.
Accident and Emergency
A&E departments provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 111* for advice.
*0845 4647 in Cornwall, the Scilly Isles, Luton and Bedfordshire