Choose Well will help you decide if you need medical attention if you get sick. It explains what each NHS service does, and when it should be used.
Choosing Well means that you and your family will get the best treatment. It also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.
Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest. For more information on self care, please click here.
NHS choices is a free online resource run by the NHS to offer guidance and information for a vast range of illnesses. The accurate and reliable information offered, combined with self care treatment can heavily reduce the demand for treatment of minor illnesses on the NHS. Please use the information on NHS choices to make the choice of whether the illness you have looked up only needs self care or whether further action will be needed. For more information, please click here.
NHS 111 is a service that has being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. For more information on NHS 111, please click here.
The NHS offer a vast range of sexual health services, with most sexual health queries being dealt with by a specialist sexual health doctor or nurse. Most local GP practices also run specialist sexual health clinics. For more information on sexual health in general, click here or for more information on sexual health clinics, please contact your local GP practice to arrange an appointment to deal with your query.
Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare. They are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge, to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by the public. Most pharmacies also offer private consultation areas where patients can discuss medication and other health related questions with a qualified pharmacist. For more information on pharmacies, please click here.
Dentists and Opticians
Dentists and opticians are available throughout the country to check up and help those with teeth or eye related queries. The majority of dentists and opticians are NHS affiliated and require no registration process. You can find more information on dentists here and opticians here
GPs look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations. GPs usually work in practices as part of a team, which includes nurses, healthcare assistants, practice managers, receptionists and other staff. Practices also work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as health visitors, midwives, and social services. You would normally see GPs or other healthcare professionals at their premises. Some operate from more than one building. If your GP cannot deal with a problem then you’ll usually be referred to a hospital for tests, treatment, or to see a consultant with specialist knowledge. For more information on GP practices, please click here.
Minor Injury Services
If you have an illness that is not life threatening, contact your GP Practice first if possible. You can still call your GP outside normal practice hours, but you will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service. The out-of-hours period is 6.30pm to 8am on weekdays, and all day at weekends and bank holidays.
You can also call NHS 111, which can give you advice or direct you to the best local service to treat your injury. Alternatively, use our symptoms checker to assess your symptoms online and receive personalised advice on the best action to take.
If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU), rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait.
Sometimes, you may be so unwell that you need to go to hospital. When self-care and NHS services in your area can’t make things better, or when something is so serious that you need an ambulance, going to Accident and Emergency might be the best thing to do.
Accident and Emergency is for serious, life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention, and if you feel this is the case for you, please do not hesitate to contact 999 where you will be supported with whatever issue you are experiencing.
For more information on emergency services; please click here