If you feel ill or have had an accident, it can be difficult to know which NHS service to use and when.
Though A&E might seem the easiest choice, it should only be used in an emergency. We have developed this handy guidance to help you choose the right service for you.
Choosing a more appropriate service can often be more convenient, and save you time. Pharmacies offer expert advice and over-the-counter medicines, NHS 111 offers round-the-clock help and advice, and GP practices and walk-in services are there to support you. And did you know that Portsmouth offers urgent same-day GP appointments until 10pm, 365 days a year?
Minor illness? Get expert advice on common health problems (coughs, colds, flu, rashes) from your local pharmacist. It may save you a trip to your GP surgery. You don’t need an appointment and you can speak in a private area. You’ll be advised if they think you need further help.
Minor injury? You can often be seen more quickly, 7 days a week, for broken bones, sprains and strains, minor cuts and wound infections at St Mary’s Urgent Treatment Centre – minor injuries and illness (0333 321 8277).
Not sure? Call NHS 111 or go online to 111.nhs.uk if you:
- think you might need to go to the Emergency Department or need another NHS urgent care service
- don’t know who to call for medical help
- need information about a health issue.
Out of hours? If you need help outside normal working hours, support is available. To contact the local primary care service until 10pm, call your practice. After that, contact NHS 111.