Where can I go for advice?

With the NHS’s recent understanding that self-care plays such an important role in ensuring the sustainability of our national health service, as well as the ongoing health of our population, there are now plenty of resources and information available to support you, to help manage minor illnesses…


Choose Self Care

When you’re feeling ill with a minor illness like a cold or sore throat, or have picked up a minor injury, do you know how to treat the symptoms at home?

It’s called ‘self care’ and aims to empower us to know how to recognise symptoms, know how to treat them as soon they appear using over-the-counter medicines, and when to get more advice from a pharmacist or NHS 111.

Self care advice for minor ailments

Some common conditions that people seek GP appointments for will get better within a short time or can be treated with over-the-counter medicines from a pharmacy. 
For a wide range of minor ailments, your local pharmacist should be your first point-of-call because: 

  • You don’t need an appointment 
  • There are no waiting times 
  • You will see a clinician with expertise in minor ailments and their treatment 
  • You can have privacy if you would like it 
  • You can leave with appropriate treatment or therapy and guidance on how to use it

What if my symptoms don’t improve?


Pharmacists are medical experts and are able to offer advice and over-the-counter treatments for minor ailments like aches and pains, coughs and colds, infections and viruses, allergies, minor injuries, skin conditions and more, saving a visit to the doctor’s surgery.

There’s no need for an appointment and you can talk to them in private, confidentially, and will direct you to the most appropriate local service if you need further help.

NHS 111

NHS 111

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free.

Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Or you can online help at NHS Online.

The advisors can also arrange face-to-face appointments, and if you are assessed as needing an ambulance, one will be sent directly.

NHS 111 online uses the same clinical algorithms as the 111 phone service, taking you through questions about your symptoms to receive tailored advice on what to do next and where to go.

For more information on how to treat minor medical concerns visit the Self Care Forum and the NHS website.

Out of Hours and Emergency

A E 111

If you have health concerns outside the normal opening hours of your GP surgery, appropriate NHS help is available from a number of places:

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a dedicated telephone service available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and is available by dialling 111 from any telephone.

The service provides easy access to healthcare services and information when you need healthcare quickly, when the condition is urgent but not life threatening.

For more information about 111 visit :  NHS 111 

NHS Website

The NHS website is the online 'front door' to the NHS. It is the country's biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health.

Visit the NHS Website

Minor Injuries Units/Walk-in Centres

Minor Injuries Units/Walk-in Centres offer help with a range of injuries and ailments including simple breaks, earache, sore throats, children’s illnesses, minor head injuries, burns and even emergency contraception.

There are a number of minor injury units available across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They offer help with a range of injuries including simple breaks, sprains, minor head injuries, burns and cuts. For more information and opening times, visit Worcestershire's MIU page or Herefordshire's MIU page.

Dental Access Centres

Patients with an urgent dental problem and without a regular dentist can obtain advice and, where necessary, an emergency appointment by contacting the Dental Advice Line on 0300 123 0981.


The 999 service is for critical emergencies that are potentially life-threatening. These include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
  • Acute confusion states or fits that are not stopping
  • Signs of a stroke

Local Health Service Providers

GP Surgery

General Practitioners (GPs) deal with a whole range of health problems and hold your primary medical record. Patients registered with a GP surgery can book appointments and request repeat prescriptions online and via the NHS App

Do not attend your GP practice in person unless told to do so by your practice. If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you will be advised on what to do. GP practices have measures in place to minimise any risk from coronavirus.

If your doctor decides to refer you to a hospital for an outpatient appointment, in most cases you can choose to go anywhere in England and can expect to be treated within 18 weeks of the referral.

You can also choose a specific consultant if appropriate, and may be referred to a private provider of health services outside the NHS at no cost to yourself.

However most people decide to have treatment as close to home as possible.

NHS Website

The NHS website can help you make a decision about where you receive treatment and show you all the hospitals available.

Mental Health support

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust now provide mental health services for the people of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. There are a number of mental health support organisations and services available, visit Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Now We’re Talking page for more information.

Sexual health

Free and confidential services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are available. For more information on the services available in your area visit  Sexual Health – know your stuff? (Worcestershire)

Walk-in clinics are not operating during the coronavirus pandemic and only patients with no symptoms who require urgent/emergency treatment will be seen face to face.

use the right service
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