In this section
We want to ensure that people choose the right service for their needs, and that hospital services are freed up to treat people who really need A&E and other specialist services.
Some patients may not realise that they could be treated by other NHS services. The 'Choose well' campaign helps people understand what is available and how choosing the right one means they will get the best treatment.
There are a number of options depending on the nature of your injury or illness:
Self-care - treating minor illnesses or injuries - such as grazes, bruises and coughs - yourself. Remember to keep your first-aid kit at home well stocked.
NHS 111 - when you need medical help fast, but it isn’t an emergency you can call NHS 111. This is a new service that has been introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS services in England.
It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Local pharmacist - advice for treating common illnesses and the best medicines to use. Pharmacists provide a range of services in addition to dispensing prescriptions. They can advise on minor ailments and give advice on many aspects of health care.
Local doctor (GP) - For all non-urgent and persistent health issues make an appointment to see your GP. They provide a range of services, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.
NHS Walk in Centre - for treating minor illnesses and injuries that do not require an A&E visit. Appointments are not required.
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NHS Minor Injury Unit - for minor injuries that can't be dealt with at home.
Accident and Emergency or dialling 999 - For life-threatening or critical conditions dial 999 to call an ambulance or go to your local Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). Open 24 hours/365 days a year.