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To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it's important to avoid face-to-face medical help whenever possible.

There are ways to get medical help, advice and prescriptions online or over the phone.

Health information and advice

The best place to get accurate health information is the NHS website.

The NHS website has information and advice on:

You can also check your GP surgery's website. Lots of GP surgeries have online services where you can get advice and support from your GP surgery team. Find your GP to get their website details.

Help and support from a GP

If you need to contact a GP, do not go into the surgery in person.

You can:

  • visit the GP surgery website, or use an online service to contact your GP – find your GP to get their website details
  • phone your GP surgery

Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.

A phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you.

You'll only be asked to visit the surgery if absolutely necessary.

Your GP surgery may be very busy at the moment. So you may have to wait longer than usual to speak to someone if it's not urgent.


Online services and apps

If you're registered with a GP surgery, you can use online services and apps that may allow you to:

  • order repeat prescriptions
  • see parts of your health record, including test results
  • book, check or cancel appointments

You may not be able to book appointments directly at the moment. Please check your GP surgery's website for how to contact them (find your GP to get their website details).

If you can book an appointment, it is likely to be a phone or video appointment.

Find out how to start using online services.

Repeat prescriptions

If you have a repeat prescription that you normally request at your GP surgery or pharmacy, you can do this online.

To do this, you'll need to register to use online services.

Find out how to start using online services.

Urgent medical help

Do not go to places like walk-in centres, urgent treatment centres or hospitals.

If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service.

The 111 online service asks questions about your symptoms to help you get the help you need.

Only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.

During the coronavirus outbreak, the 111 phone line will be very busy so it will be quicker and easier to get help online.

Emergency medical help

For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Try to avoid going to A&E, as there's a risk you could catch coronavirus or spread it to people who are seriously ill.

Page last reviewed: 3 April 2020
Next review due: 6 April 2020