Help us help you - know what to do

When you’re injured or unwell, knowing where to go can help you get the right medical care and advice when you need it.

This page provides an overview of a wide range of local NHS services, from pharmacists to GP surgeries and minor injuries units. Explore each service to find out what they can help with and how to access them.

Self-care

Self-care is perfect if your condition is something you will be able to treat at home – in fact, home is the best place for you.

Pharmacies

Your local pharmacist (chemist) is your healthcare expert on the high street. They provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common ailments, such as coughs and colds, diarrhoea or minor infections. 

A pharmacist will be able to help you decide if you need to see a GP or other health service.

Many pharmacies are open late and on weekends, and there are always some open over Bank Holidays.

GP Surgeries

Contact your local GP for help with non-urgent illnesses or injuries that won’t go away. They provide a range of services by appointment including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions, and using a GP can save time as they know your medical history.

NHS 111

NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and is free to call from your landline or mobile phone.

  • go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only)
  • call 111

NHS 111 will help you get the right care and can save you time, effort and unnecessary journeys.

Minor Injuries Units

Minor injuries units are there to help with injuries that need attention urgently but are not critical or life-threatening.

Most minor injuries units are open long hours and you can be seen much more quickly than at A&E.

A&E Departments

Emergency Departments (A&E) and 999 are for serious and life-threatening emergencies only. A&E units may refer you to an alternative service if you go there with a minor injury or illness.

You should travel to A&E yourself if you can. If someone is too ill, for example if they have collapsed or can't breathe, dial 999 for an ambulance.

The smart choice

The NHS HANDi App provides advice and support for parents and carers looking after a poorly child. It has straightforward advice on what to do and who to contact, with home assessment guidelines for common childhood illnesses.