Help your NHS | Featured Blog


Help your NHS

Photo of a number of hospital staff walking in a corridor together

Our NHS services are under significant pressure. From our General Practice teams to the doctors, nurses and other support staff working in our hospitals and in our communities, everyone is working incredibly hard to provide local people with the care they need. We’re currently seeing a lot of people in all our services, including some who have not come to the right place for their particular medical issue – so we need your help.

People who need care for a life-threatening emergency should continue to go to A&E or call 999 for assistance. However, if your issue is not a life-threatening medical emergency, you can help us help you by using NHS 111 online as your first port of call. 111 online can be reached via, and offers advice on urgent medical concerns as well as information about prescriptions and the option to order emergency repeat prescriptions if you have completely run out.

NHS 111 will refer you to the best service for your needs if you need to be seen by a clinician. This includes referrals to your local pharmacy, a Minor Injury Unit, or an Urgent Treatment Centre near you.

As well as using 111 online for urgent medical issues that aren’t emergencies, you can help your local NHS by only contacting your GP if you have a genuinely pressing issue. Right now, our General Practice teams are dealing with extraordinary demand levels, and some practices may have to focus on providing only urgent care. This may mean that some routine appointments will be postponed, and your practice may publish a message on their website or change their phone message to make clear that the team is currently focusing on urgent medical concerns (including symptoms that could be a sign of cancer) only.

If you have a medical issue that is not urgent, please consider whether you could wait to contact your GP until the New Year, whilst your practice works to deal with their significant workload over the Holiday period.

A lot of common ailments and illnesses don’t require treatment from a clinician. You can look after yourself safely at home in many situations, including colds and flu, upset stomachs, and minor strains. Visit and use the search function to find official NHS advice on any non-emergency issue you may have.

We want to reassure you that your NHS is here to help you throughout the holidays if you need us. But if your issue isn’t a life-threatening emergency please use 111 online first, or call 111 for advice for children under 5, help in a mental health crisis, or advice on palliative care; and consider whether you could look after yourself at home if you have a minor illness or ailment.

Together, we can help our NHS throughout the holidays and stay Well Together.

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