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Health Services

In the UK, it is free to access any of the NHS services. Depending on your income or situation, you may also be eligible to receive free prescriptions. To find out whether you can receive free prescriptions, please visit the NHS Choices website pages on free prescriptions.

GP Services:

Your first port of call for any health concerns should be your GP. In some ways, the family doctor is like a social worker as they often deal with non-medical issues, such as housing, relationships or finances, which may be making you ill. He or she will have access to your medical records and what health issues you may have had in the past. 

If you do not have a GP, it is important that you register with your local GP surgery. Go to the NHS Choices Find a GP Service page to find one near you. 

Community Pharmacies:

If are feeling unwell or having some minor ailments, you may wish to ask your pharmacist for advice. Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare. They are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge, to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by the public.

Community pharmacists prepare and dispense prescription and non-prescription medicines. They are also able to give you advice about how to use your medicines and highlight any possible side effects.

They offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. They can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms, and you don't need to make an appointment. It is possible to walk into any community pharmacy and ask to speak with the pharmacist. They may be able to spend some time with you or offer you an appointment for a consultation. All the discussions with your pharmacist can take place in person or by phone.

This information was taken from the NHS Choices website. To read more about Pharmacy Services, please click here

Emergency Services: 

At some point, most people will need to get help because of an accident or a medical emergency. This is more likely if you have children or elderly relatives living with you. Planning ahead and understanding what your options are in an emergency will help you get the best care as quickly as possible. 

Your options include:

  • Calling 999. Only dial 999 in a critical or life-threatening situation, for example is someone has:
    • loss of consciousness
    • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
    • persistent, severe chest pain
    • breathing difficulties
    • severe bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Go to Accident and Emergency departments. 
    • Major A&E departments are usually open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. A&E departments have access to specialists and specialist investigations.
  • NHS 111 service. 
    • NHS 111 is a new service being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
  • GP services.
    • For illnesses that are not life-threatening, contact your GP surgery. Outside of normal surgery hours you can still phone your GP, but you will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service. The out-of-hours period is from 6.30pm to 8am on weekdays, and all day at weekends and on bank holidays. During out-of-hours periods you can also call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 (or NHS 111 if available in your area).
  • Minor injuries units, walk-in centres and urgent care centres.
    • If your injury is not serious, go to a minor injuries unit (MIU), walk-in centre or urgent care centre rather than an A&E department. You could be seen more quickly than in A&E, and it allows staff in A&E to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions.

This information was taken from the NHS Choices website. To read more about Your Choices in an Emergency, please click here

Hospital Services:

NHS hospital services are run and managed by NHS trusts, which make sure that hospitals provide high-quality healthcare, and that money is spent efficiently. They also decide on strategies for hospital developments.

Apart from emergency care, hospital treatment is arranged through your GP, dentist and optician. Treatment at NHS hospitals is free. To find out more about what to expect from NHS Hospital Services and your stay in hospital, please click here