Do you really need ED?
Help us keep the Emergency Department free for patients with serious and life-threatening conditions.
If you feel unwell, there are many alternative services which can help you to feel better.
If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.
Visit a pharmacist
Pharmacists are expert in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.
See your GP
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures. Your GP will arrange a referral to a hospital specialist should you need it.
Visit a walk-in centre
Visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor illness or injury (infections, vomiting and stomach aches) and it can’t wait until your GP surgery is open. These urgent care services are often managed by nurses and some also have doctors. You don’t need an appointment and they are open outside office hours.
The Emergency Department provides vital care for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.
Visit NHS Choices to find your nearest pharmacist, GP, or walk-in centre. In an emergency, dial 999.