Right Care, Right Place, First Time

The practice is currently auditing our patients A&E attendance as many patients who attend A&E within opening hours for a Minor Injury could have been seen in surgery by one of the qualified nurses instead.  The guide below will help you in deciding where best to go for your treatment:

Step One

Can I deal with this myself?


A well stocked medicine cabinet will help treat many common illnesses. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines available over the counter. It is worthwhile having a small stock of

paracetamol and/or ibuprofen which can be used as pain killers as well as to control temperature.

Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and seek further advice if the illness continues or becomes more severe.


Your nearest pharmacy can give on-the-spot advice for minor ailments, sells remedies for a wide range of problems including stomach upsets, aches and pains, allergies, coughs and colds, and can advise on where best to get further help.

Selected pharmacies offer extra services through Pharmacy First schemes, or sell additional treatments such as the emergency contraception pill. Some pharmacies are now open until midnight, details are available from NHS Direct.

Opening hours and locations:

Opening hours (including evenings, weekends and bank holidays) and location of all health services in your area are available from NHS Direct on: 0845 46 47.

Online services:

You can find out about all national and local NHS services, opening times and locations, and access a range of self-help information at www.nhs.uk.

Step Two

Do I need more help, advice or treatment?

GP services:

You can call the GP surgery 24 hours a day. When the surgery is closed your call will be transferred directly to the GP out of hours service who will advise you or arrange for you to see a nurse or doctor if necessary.

Out of hours service:

The out of hours service is for urgent medical care and advice when your GP surgery is closed. ‘Urgent’ means that you cannot safely wait until your GP surgery is next open. The out of hours service operates in the evenings and at the weekends.

NHS Direct:

You can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for healthcare help and advice.


Registered patients should phone their own dental practice. If the surgery is

closed you will receive information or you can phone 0845 603 1407 to access the local out of hours dental assessment service. You can also phone NHS Direct at any time on 0845 46 47 for dental advice.

Walk-in Centres/Minor Injuries Unit/Urgent Care Centre:

You can see an experienced GP or nurse for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses. The centres are open every day of the year, including weekend and bank holidays (see back page for locations and opening times). You do not need an appointment

Step Three

Is it an emergency?

An emergency is a serious injury or life-threatening problem such as:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe breathing difficulty
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Suspected broken bones
  • Deep wounds (e.g. stab wounds)
  • Swallowing something harmful or poisonous

In an emergency, you can go to your nearest Emergency Department (A&E) or call 999 for an ambulance.

Remember that A&E and 999 should only be used in emergencies – using them for minor problems or because you have no transport puts other people’s lives at risk and wastes money that could be spent elsewhere to improve NHS services.

Phoning your GP practice, the out of hours service or NHS Direct for minor problems will usually result in faster and more appropriate advice and treatment.

Arriving at A&E by ambulance does not give you priority over other patients with similar problems who have come by car or public transport.