Feeling Unwell? Which NHS service is right for you?
The NHS provides a wide range of services, from pharmacists, to GPs, to urgent care centres and hospitals. It is important that you know which service is the right one to use when you are unwell. Below is information you will find useful.
Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. For conditions like backache, earache, coughs and colds, you are best off looking after yourself to begin with, then seeking help if your condition doesn't improve.
Visit your pharmacist when you are suffering from common health problems that do not need to be seen by a doctor, like colds, coughs, aches and indigestion. Pharmacists can give you advice on a range of medicines and treatments that you can buy over the counter to help relieve your symptoms. NHS Hertfordshire spends around £9 million each year on medicines for things like headaches, hay fever, indigestion, colds, coughs, flu, constipation and diarrhoea. These medicines can be bought easily and usually cheaply "over the counter" from your local pharmacy, supermarket or store. The money that the NHS spends on these medicines is money that cannot be used to help patients with more complex health problems.
Minor Injuries Unit:
For injuries like sprains, cuts, grazes, bites, stings, burns and scalds. Can treat children aged 2+. Walk-in service. No appointment required.
Urgent Care Centre:
Treats sprains, strains, fractures, wounds, burns, scalds, minor head injuries, bites, stings, cuts and grazes. Has X-Ray . Can treat infants and children. Walk in service. No appointment needed.
NHS Walk-in service:
For services including blood pressure checks, contraceptive advice and emergency contraception prescriptions, dressing care, bites and stings, minor cuts and wounds, minor eye infections, muscle and joint injuries and skin conditions. No appointment needed.
For Health information and urgent advice 24 hours a day and when the practice is closed, contact the patient advice service by telephoning 111 or visit www.nhs.uk
Book an appointment with your GP who can help with a range of conditions such as illness or pain that won't go away; mild to moderate breathing problems, recurrent coughs or sore throats, vomiting/diarrhoea, abdominal pains, skin problems such as eczema, migraine,/headache, joint pains and recurrent back pain, mental health problems, contraception advice, wound re-dressing, travel immunisations, chronic disease management and minor injuries such as bites, stings, cuts and grazes.
They also deal with repeat prescription requests which should be made during normal opening hours. Our opening hours can be found on our introduction page on this website.
If you need a GP in the evening at the weekend or a bank holiday when the surgery is closed and you cannot wait until it opens you should telephone 111. You will either be given advice over the phone on how to look after your symptoms, be asked to come to your nearest out of hours centre (you will be told where this is) or receive a home visit from a doctor or nurse.
In an emergency:
A&E/Emergency departments are for people with critical or life- threatening conditions. Only call 999 if someone has a suspected heart attack, lost consciousness, a suspected stroke, severe burns, a severe allergic reaction, lost a lot of blood, difficulty breathing.
Remember A&E is for serious life-threatening conditions only. A&E may re-direct you to the GP surgery if you present with something that should be dealt with in Primary care. Please note that we now contact patients who are using A&E inappropriately.