Get the right treatment when you need it
The NHS is here for everyone. Whatever your healthcare needs, we want to make sure you receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
Your local NHS is very busy at the moment.You can help ease the pressure by choosing the right service for you when you need medical help or advice. Not only will this help you get treatment you need faster, but help us ensure we can prioritise healthcare for those most in need.
You can find information below on local services alongside how you can help to keep yourself and your family to stay well. You can also find out more in our Help us help you and your family stay well or our Your Guide to Childhood Illnesses.
If you are unsure on which service you need, you can visit NHS 111 service online at 111.nhs.uk where your symptoms will be assessed, and you will be given healthcare advice. You can also access this via the NHS App.
Looking after yourself (self care)
Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. This can be anything from eating healthily, doing some exercise, managing common conditions or minor illnesses at home or living with a long-term health problem, such as asthma or diabetes.
Common conditions and minor ailments such as colds and flu, upset stomachs, and aches and pains are generally not a serious health problem for most patients. You can easily treat yourself at home, or with advice from a local pharmacist, helping you to feel better sooner and avoid unnecessary trips to your GP or A&E department.
Be sure to keep your medicine cabinet well-stocked with essentials like pain killers, antihistamines, cold and flu remedies, anti-diarrhoea and indigestion medicine. If you use any medication regularly through a prescription, make sure you order repeat prescriptions in good time so that you do not run out. You can find out more about ordering repeat prescriptions, and how to find your nearest pharmacy, on the NHS website here.
You can also use the NHS APP to access healthcare advice and service information. The NHS.uk website has a health A-Z, which is a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help.
For general advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing you can also visit the NHS Live Well website pages. Here you will find advice and information on exercise, alcohol support, eating well, maintaining healthy weight, sleep and tiredness, quitting smoking and sexual health.
The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use the NHS App to:
- check your symptoms get health advice using the health A-Z on the NHS website
- get advice about COVID-19
- order repeat prescriptions
- book appointments
- find out what to do when they need help urgently using NHS 111 online
- view your health record
- register your organ donation decision
NHS 111 – online and by phone 24/7
If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help.
You can contact the NHS 111 service online at www.111.nhs.uk or you can call 111 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your symptoms will be assessed, and you will be provided with healthcare advice. This may include:
- Self care
- To visit a Pharmacy
- To contact your GP Practice
- To contact an Urgent Treatment Centre or Minor Injuries Unit
- To attend A&E
If needed NHS 111 can also send an ambulance or where available can also book appointment times to some services.
Your pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and conditions such as colds, sore throats, tummy trouble, allergies and aches and pains. In some cases, your pharmacist will also be able to carry out medication reviews for medication you take.
All pharmacists are part of your local NHS services, they train for a minimum of five years, are experts in medicines use and providing health and wellbeing advice.
If your symptoms suggest something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example, they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.
Pharmacies are often open until late and at weekends, and many have a quiet area where you can talk to a Pharmacist in private.
Visit the NHS website to 'Find a Pharmacy' near you.
Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) and Minor Injury Units (MIU)
There are a number of Minor Injury Units (MIU) and Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) locally that can treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries.
Conditions that can be treated at Minor Injury Units and Urgent Care Centres include:
wounds, cuts and bruises (Tetanus immunisation can also be given)
bites – human, insect and animal
minor burns and scalds
muscle and joint injuries – strains, sprains, limb fractures
eye problems e.g. removal of foreign bodies, conjunctivitis
earache (patients aged two years and over)
cystitis (not children or male patients)
minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness)
X-ray services (see specific service for times available).
No appointment required, opening hours are as follows:
Peterborough Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC)
Peterborough City Hospital, Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Peterborough PE3 9GZ.
Mon – Sun: 8am – 8pm. Including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays
Ely Minor Injury Unit (MIU), Princess of Wales Hospital
Lynn Road, Ely, CB6 1DN
Mon – Fri: 8.30am-6pm (x-ray 9am - 4.45pm)
Sat and Sun: 8.30am - 6pm (x-ray 1pm - 5pm)
Bank Holidays: 8.30am – 6pm (X-ray 1pm - 5pm)
Doddington Minor Injury Unit (MIU)
Benwick Rd, Doddington, March PE15 0UG
Mon to Fri: 8.30am - 6pm (x-ray 9am - 5pm)
Sat and Sun: 9am – 5pm (no x-ray)
Bank Holidays: 9am - 5pm (no x-ray)
Wisbech Minor Injury Unit (MIU)
North Cambs Hospital, The Park, Wisbech, PE13 3AB
Mon – Fri: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat and Sun: Closed
Bank Holidays: Closed
Your GP practice will ensure you get the right care from the right healthcare professional at the right time.
You can contact most GP practices online as well as by phone. Visit your practice’s website to find the best way to get in touch.
Your GP practice team is made up of a range of healthcare professionals with the expertise to help treat a range of conditions. You might not always need to see a GP, your practice team has a range of trained healthcare professionals who can diagnose and treat a range of conditions, helping you to get advice or treatment sooner.
- Reception team
- Practice nurses
- Healthcare assistants
- Social Prescribing Link Workers
If you have an urgent medical concern when your GP is closed call NHS 111 or go to 111.nhs.uk Trained advisors will assess your condition over the phone and connect you to a nurse or GP if appropriate.
If you are not yet registered with a GP surgery, it's easy to get registered. Visit the NHS website here for advice on how to register with a GP surgery.
If you need help registering or filling in forms, call the GP surgery and let them know.
You could also ask for help from:
Mental Health services and support
The main provider of NHS mental health care in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need help, call NHS 111 and select the mental health option. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss your mental health care needs – instead of having to go to accident and emergency departments in local acute hospitals. This service is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.
There are a number of services that you can access or self-refer to (self- refer means you do not need to have been referred by your GP or medical professional to use the service).
Below you will find information on local services. You can also find further information at www.nhs.uk/mental-health
You can contact your GP who will be able to provide advice on how to deal with your symptoms and talk to you about available treatments and support services that are available locally.
- Keep Your Head website is a directory of mental health and wellbeing services, support and advice available for young people and adults across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- How Are You (H.A.Y.) is a local website that brings together information on activities and support available in your local community to help boost mental health and wellbeing.
- Every Mind Matters can help with expert advice, practical tips and personalised actions to help stay on top of your mental wellbeing.
- CPSL Mind - A local mental health charity, providing a range of services and projects to support recovery from mental health problems and promote positive mental health across our diverse communities.
Telephone advice and support
- Call NHS 111 and select the mental health option - If you are in a mental health crisis. This service is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.
- Lifeline - Free, confidential helpline that you can call anonymously to talk to a trained volunteer. Lifeline is available daily 11am-11pm, and can be reached by calling 0808 808 2121
- HEAR 85258 – a mental health free text messaging support service - texting the word HEAR to 85258 to be connected to a trained volunteer who will offer them calm in a time or place of crisis.
- Samaritans - Local and national listening service. Freephone 116 123, open 24/7, 365 days a year.
Therapy and counselling
- NHS Talking Therapies – Psychological talking therapy for mild to moderate depression or anxiety for anyone 17+ You do not need a diagnosis to access the service and can self-refer to the following services:
- CPFT - NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Talking Therapies | CPFT NHS Trust
- Everyturn - Counselling & Talking Therapies in Peterborough | Everyturn
- Group Therapy Centre - Group therapy in Cambridgeshire: About The Group Therapy Centre (grouptherapycambridge.org.uk)
- Peterborough Counselling Services Ltd - Counselling | Peterborough Counselling | Peterborough (peterboroughcounsellingltd.co.uk)
- Alzheimer’s Society – for dementia support - www.alzheimers.org.uk
- Choices – offers a confidential trauma-informed counselling services throughout Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for women and men who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood - Home - Choices Counselling
- CPSL Mind – provide support to local people who may be experiencing mental health challenges - CPSL Mind
- Lifecraft – User led organisation for adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area who have experience of mental health difficulties in their lives - Welcome - Lifecraft
- Personalised Eating Disorder Support (PEDS) - Get the support you need | PED Support
- Richmond Fellowship – Employment support for people living with or recovering from mental ill health and Autism / Aspergers to retain their current employment or regain new employment - Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire Employment Service - Richmond Fellowship | Mental Health Charity Making Recovery Reality
Children and Young People’s Mental Health:
- Kooth (digital support platform www.kooth.com)
- Centre 33 drop-in service (face to face support www.centre33.org.uk)
- For referral to YOUnited, please talk to your GP or a professional working with your Child or Young Person https://www.cpft.nhs.uk/younited
- Cruse – trained volunteers in all types of bereavement to help you make sense of how you're feeling right now
- Bereavement support services in Cambridgeshire
- Good Grief Cafes - Pop Up Cafés that offer friendly, informal place out in the community to pop along and find others who may have been through a similar bereavement.
Relationship and domestic abuse support:
Domestic Abuse Support Service (DASS) – freephone 0300 373 1073 for support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse of any gender identity and any sexual orientation
A&E (Emergency departments)
Accident and emergency (A&E) departments are open 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year and are for life threatening emergencies and serious injuries only.
This service is for those who need it most – like people with severe chest pains, serious head injuries, loss of consciousness or breathing difficulties. People who need to have a carer present during their visit to A&E are welcome to bring their carer with them.
A&E departments across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are currently extremely busy. Please help us to protect emergency departments for those with the most serious conditions. Please consider using one of the alternatives above for less serious conditions.
You should be registered with a dental practice and have regular check-ups. Go to www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist to find your nearest practice.
If you need urgent treatment, please contact your usual dental practice, as they may be able to see you or direct you to an urgent dental care service. You can also phone NHS 111 which can put you in touch with an urgent dental service. Do not contact a GP, as they will not be able to offer urgent or emergency dental care.
Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)
The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) treats non-emergency conditions which do not necessarily need to be examined at a hospital, in convenient locations for local people. The service is provided by specially trained optometrists. To access MECS you can contact the participating optometry practice you’d like to be seen at. The practice will offer you their earliest MEC appointment, which will be within a week of you contacting them. If they do not have an appointment available within a week, they will refer you to another practice.
Conditions that can be seen by MECS include acute red eyes, acute irritated or inflamed eyes, sticky discharge or acute watery eyes, in-grown eyelashes, foreign bodies in the eye (urgent conditions will be redirected to A&E) and recently occurring flashes or floaters.
An acute condition is one with a sudden onset. If you have had red eyes, inflamed or irritated eyes, or watery eyes for many weeks or months this is called a chronic condition. You cannot get treatment for these from MECS. Please discuss any chronic eye issues with your regular optometrist or GP in the first instance.
It is important to remember that MECS is not a standard eye test service. Please note that children under 16 cannot be seen by MECS. If your child is under 16 and experiencing one of the above issues, please contact the GP practice they are registered with. You can find out more about MECS, including a list of opticians currently offering the service: Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) Flyer May 2023
Maternity & Neonatal services
Visit the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Maternity & Neonatal Services page to access information that will support you as you travel through your maternity journey and beyond.
Here you will find information on antennal care, local hospital and maternity units, mental health, postnatal care, healthy lifestyles and NHS pregnancy resources.
You can also visit the NHS Pregnancy Guide that includes all you need to know about trying for a baby, pregnancy, labour and birth.
Children and Families
We want children and young people to feel happy, healthy and safe, and provide support for families as your children grow. You can visit the Healthy Child Programme website (Health visiting and school nursing) for information on health visiting and school nursing.
End of life care is support for people who are in the last months or years of their life.
End of life care should help you to live as well as possible until you die and to die with dignity.
People who are approaching the end of life are entitled to high-quality care, wherever they're being cared for. Find out what to expect from end of life care.
You have the right to express your wishes about where you would like to receive care and where you want to die. You can receive end of life care at home, or in care homes, hospices or hospitals, depending on your needs and preference.
There is a Palliative Care Hub helpline in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This is a free 24 hour phone service available to patients, relatives, friends and all healthcare professionals to providing specialist advice and support to those with life limiting illnesses.
Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be contacted by dialling 111, and selecting Option 4.