If you need support for your health outside of the standard opening hours of your local GP, there are places that you can go for support.
Where you can go to get help out of hours
The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that's convenient for you. They have produced guidance on how best to access services out of hours that can be found in full online.
- Phone NHS 111
This service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a service that provides medical advice as well as the details of the services closest to you that help you deal with your need following a medical assessment.
- Visit your local pharmacy
Your pharmacist will be able to help you with a number of issues. How your pharmacy can help
- Visit your nearest NHS walk in centre
If you need treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes you can visit your nearest NHS walk-in centre, urgent care centre or minor injuries unit. These are not suitable for treating long term conditions. To be seen at one of these services you do not need an appointment, or to be registered. You may be referred to one of these services by NHS 111, or you can just walk in.
When to visit an urgent care centre
Take a look at the NHS guidance on when to visit an urgent care centre (walk in centre) to find out if this is the right service for your health needs.
Should I go to A&E?
Accident and Emergency departments are for serious or life-threatening emergencies and should not be used as an alternative to a GP appointment. You should go to your nearest A&E if you require urgent medical attention.
For example if you’re experiencing:
- loss of consciousness
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- fits that are not stopping
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma
Running out of your medication during the holidays or over the weekend can be a big worry. If you run out the medication you need outside of your GP practice’s normal opening hours and need some urgently, there are a few steps you can take to get an emergency supply.
Where you can get medication from will depend on whether you already have a prescription or whether a prescription is needed. Take a look at the guidance from the NHS to find out more.
Image credit: Centre for Ageing Better