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Urgent and emergency care services in England

Urgent care centres

(walk-in centres and minor injury units)

Urgent treatment centres are a facility you can go to if you need urgent medical attention but it's not a life-threatening situation.

At the moment, the NHS offers a mix of walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres, all with different levels of service.

By the end of 2019, these will all be called urgent treatment centres.

Urgent treatment centres are GP-led and open for at least 12 hours a day every day of the week (including bank holidays).

You may be referred to an urgent treatment centre by NHS 111 or by your GP. You can also just turn up and walk in.

Conditions that can be treated at an urgent treatment centre include:

  • sprains and strains
  • suspected broken limbs
  • minor head injuries
  • cuts and grazes
  • bites and stings
  • minor scalds and burns
  • ear and throat infections
  • skin infections and rashes
  • eye problems
  • coughs and colds
  • feverish illness in adults
  • feverish illness in children
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • emergency contraception

How to get urgent medical help

If you need urgent medical attention but it's not a life-threatening situation, you should first call 111. If you think life is at risk, you should call 999.

NHS 111 will assess you and give you the option to speak to a nurse, doctor or paramedic if appropriate. You'll then be advised where you need to go for treatment.

This could be an urgent treatment centre, an out-of-hours GP service, your local GP in normal hours, or the nearest A&E if necessary.

All urgent treatment centres have clear processes in place if it's decided you need treatment at A&E rather than at the urgent treatment centre.

Page last reviewed: 05/06/2018

Next review due: 05/06/2021

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