A patient’s health and care needs can range from simple questions that are easily answered all the way to complex conditions that require immediate attention in an acute hospital. Wherever possible, we encourage patients to use self-care or use health services that are more suited to their need and which do not burden GPs unnecessarily.
If your condition is less serious or pressing, we would encourage you to consider alternative ways of seeking treatment in the first instance including:
- The NHS.UK website provides a comprehensive guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help. This supports self-care and provides advice on living well, care and support services, and where to access a range of health and care services.
- all local pharmacies offer a service called Pharmacy First which gives patients with common, minor ailments (e.g. coughs, colds, sore throat, hay fever, diarrhoea, earache, skin rashes) the option of visiting a local pharmacist to receive treatment with over-the-counter medication instead of attending the surgery. If you require repeat prescriptions, further information can be found here.
- for non-emergency situations, please call the NHS 111 service for help identifying which local health service can help you best. This could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.