GP or A&E?

Many people are unsure which medical services to call on when they’re in need. The NHS is under huge pressure so it is important to pick the right service at the right time. Don’t go to A&E if you have an upset stomach but, likewise, don’t wait for an appointment with your GP if you are in agonising pain.

 Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111 if you’re not sure which NHS service you need.

 Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. If you have a serious injury, such as a broken leg or arm, go to your nearest A&E.

 Visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can’t wait until your GP surgery is open.

 Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats.

 Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

The NHS Choices website will help you search for health services near you and give you helpful, clear medical advice.