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Choosing the right service

Help your NHS by choosing the right healthcare option

We want to remind people that the NHS is here for you should you suddenly fall ill or get injured. To help you be seen in the right place, at the right time by the right healthcare professional you need to use the most appropriate service.


• Visit your pharmacy, pharmacists are trained medical professionals that can advise you on the best treatment for common heath conditions. There’s lots of pharmacies, you can walk-in (see note about not doing so if you think you have coronavirus) and be seen in a private consultation room too.


• Talk before you walk by calling NHS 111 or going online Sometimes you know something doesn’t feel right but you also know it’s not an emergency. If you can’t get to your GP practice or your local pharmacy is closed give NHS 111 a call. By using NHS 111 you will be accessing safe advice that will help you get to the right healthcare service when it’s not an emergency. NHS 111 is a free number that you can reach 24 hours a day, for a BSL interpreter visit


• Your GP practice is open but the way you access your practice has changed. This means all initial appointments are done over the telephone or by video. A face-to-face appointment is then offered if it is clinically necessary and safe to do so after the initial consultation. Get in touch with your GP practice if you have concerns regarding ongoing conditions, ear discharge / pain, rashes, and stomach aches. Also call if you have any cancer symptoms such as a lump in your breast, changes in bowel habits, blood in your pee or poo, unexplained weight loss, moles that appear to change or cough that you’ve had for three weeks or more.


 999 / A&E should only be used for life or limb-threatening serious illness or injury.  Please help other people by avoiding calling 999 or visiting emergency departments unless it really is necessary. This means that we can ensure that people that need emergency care can get it as quickly as possible.


• Dental Please do not visit A&E Departments with dental problems. For urgent dental problems you can call any local dental practice and they will advise you, or you can call NHS 111.


Remember if you have symptoms of coronavirus you must not walk-in to your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. If you need help in an emergency please tell the 999 call taker if you have coronavirus or symptoms of this, and mention this to paramedics on arrival.