If you need medical help but it isn’t an emergency there are many other routes you should use. NHS organisations nationwide are urging people to understand what health service to use if you feel unwell. This helps to ensure that the thousands of people needing help get the care they need as quickly as possible.



Health problems you can treat at home:


  • Sore Throats
  • Colds
  • Diarrhoea
  • Flu

Many everyday illnesses can best be treated at home.  Keep a supply of medicines for coughs, colds and minor illnesses in a safe place and well out of the way of children.

If you are eligible, get your flu jab every year in time for winter.

Request any repeat prescriptions well ahead of bank holidays like Christmas and Easter.



Pharmacists can offer expert advice on:

  • Medicines and prescriptions
  • Bugs and viruses, nasty coughs and colds and flu
  • Aches and Pains
  • Skin conditions and allergies

High street pharmacists are medicines experts and they can also give advice on common health problems which may save you a trip to your GP surgery


You don’t need an appointment to see a pharmacist and you can speak in private.


They will advise you if you need to see a GP.


Make sure you order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time before any holidays. Contact your GP or local pharmacist regarding repeat prescriptions and please allow at least 48 hours before you travel.



3          NHS 111

You can dial 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. The service is free to use and is open 24 hours a day, and should be used if you think you need to go to A&E, don’t know who to call or if you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

A fully trained adviser will help you or put you in touch with the service or professional most suited to your needs.

Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP.

NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.



Our Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is a nurse-led service that is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). It is for people with cuts, sprains, minor fractures and other urgent, but not life-threatening injuries. You don’t need an appointment to be seen.

The MIU is for adults and children over the age of two years.

Minor Injuries can treat the following minor injuries:

  • bites and stings
  • cuts and grazes
  • limb injuries
  • minor burns/scalds
  • minor eye injuries
  • minor head injuries
  • removal of foreign bodies from the ears or nose
  • removal of splinters
  • sprains and strains
  • sudden neck pain
  • suspected fractures/broken bones.

Minor Injuries cannot treat:

  • allergic reactions - visit your GP or go directly to Accident and Emergency
  • asthma - visit your GP
  • breathing difficulties - go directly to Accident and Emergency
  • earache/infections - visit your GP
  • mental health problems - visit your GP
  • pregnancy related problems - contact your midwife
  • serious injuries - go directly to Accident and Emergency or dial 999
  • severe chest pain - dial 999
  • sore throat - visit your local pharmacy
  • stomach pain - visit your GP
  • vomiting and diarrhoea - visit your local pharmacy.

If you arrive at the MIU with any of these conditions you will be redirected to a more appropriate NHS service. For more information on the services provided please contact 01483 782 334



If your illness is not life threatening and you have been feeling unwell for a while it is likely that you may need to contact your doctor.

  • Prescriptions for medicines
  • Advice on physical/mental health problems
  • Treatment of ongoing illnesses or conditions
  • Illnesses that don’t go away with self-care eg ongoing cough or stomach pain


6          A&E or 999

Going to A&E, or calling 999, should be used when someone is severely injured, seriously unwell or with the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent, severe chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties/not breathing at all
  • Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Suspected heart attack or stroke
  • Severe allergic reaction

999 - Only call when someone is suffering a life-threatening illness or injury.

A&E - Is for critical or life threatening situations. It provides emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured.

Consider other options for less serious conditions.