Choosing the right service
Emergency Departments and 999 are for life threatening emergencies. If you come to an emergency department (A&E) for other conditions you may face a very long wait as priority is given to patients with the most urgent clinical need.
NHS 111: if you need clinical advice but are not in a life-threatening emergency contact NHS 111 online 111.nhs.uk or call free. Fully trained advisers are available 24 hours a day, every day. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms and provide healthcare advice or direct you to the right local service, or call an ambulance if necessary.
Pharmacies provide: advice about minor illnesses and conditions and advice on how to manage your medicines.
Minor Injuries Unit/First Aid Unit/ Urgent Treatment Centre: If you need prompt advice or treatment for minor injuries, a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or First Aid Unit (FAU) could help you. You can get treatment at an MIU for deep cuts, eye injuries, broken bones, severe sprains, minor head injuries, minor burns or scalds, minor sports injuries.
Self care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. A range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. For information to help you self-care, including healthy lifestyle information, a health A-Z of conditions and treatments, or to find your nearest pharmacy for over the counter medicines, visit www.nhs.uk
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks. When a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.
These are all common sense tips but they can make all the difference. And if people can look after themselves in the heat, they can also help the NHS too. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. Take water with you if travelling.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, older people, young children or animals.
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter). Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
- Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors. Wear UV sunglasses to reduce UV exposure to eyes and apply a sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection.