To get the best care from the NHS and enable them to help the greatest number of people it’s important that we choose the right service for our healthcare needs.
The guide below helps you to choose the right service for you.
Here’s what we can all do to support the NHS and make sure that us and others get the most appropriate help in the quickest time:
Keep the Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital free for those who really need it – those with life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, persistent or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
Urgent treatment centres and minor injuries units offer treatment, advice and information for a range of minor illnesses and injuries, including minor head and eye wounds, treating sprains, strains and breaks to arms, lower legs and feet. There are urgent treatment centres at St. Mary’s and Petersfield Hospitals and a minor injuries unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital
If you’re not sure where to go, contact NHS 111 (online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111). An NHS 111 health adviser will assess you, provide support and help you access another service if needed e.g. the urgent treatment centre at St Mary’s Hospital or a same day primary care appointment. If they think you need to go to the ED they can book you a time slot to attend.
Use online or phone consultations at your GP practice if you can to save face-to-face appointments for those who need them most.
Make the most of pharmacies, which are a great first option for many minor illnesses and injuries. A pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter treatments and advise if they think you need to contact your GP practice.
Have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home with items like pain relief, anti-diarrhoea tablets, indigestion remedies, plasters, bandages and eye wash solution so that you can treat some common health issues at home without needing to use another service. The NHS has advice on what a medicine cabinet should contain.
Please remember that it’s important to seek support when you need it and don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. In a medical emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, attend a local Emergency Department or call 999.
This page was updated on 23 Nov 2021 and is due for review by 23 Nov 2022