Feeling unwell? Should you go to your GP, pharmacy or straight to A&E?
There are lots of different places you can go if you are feeling unwell, which are summarised below.
Lots of health problems can be treated just by looking after yourself. Keep a supply of over-the-counter products, such as painkillers and antiseptic, and if you are feeling unwell, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
The NHS website, www.nhs.uk, gives a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help.
Community pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals who can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them at home, saving you a GP appointment. Most now have a quiet area away from other customers where you can speak to the pharmacist more privately.
NHS 111 is the number to use if you are not in an emergency or life-threatening situation, but do need medical help quickly. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. For D/deaf people, or people with hearing loss, use your textphone and call 18001 111.
If you're worried about an urgent medical concern, you can now also get help online using your smartphone, tablet or computer. NHS 111 Online is fast, free and easy to use and offers the same help as the 111 phoneline. It is becoming increasingly available across England throughout 2018.
Use the service to answer questions about your symptoms; find out where to go for help if you can’t see your GP or dentist, or get a call back from a nurse; or get advice on self care
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If you have an illness or injury that will not go away, you may need an appointment with a GP. All GP practices in Salford now also offer online services, such as booking appointments or ordering repeat prescriptions, in addition to phoning or visiting your practice.
Appointments are available with a Salford GP until 8.15pm on a weekday and between 9.30am and 12.30pm on the weekend.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. There is a lot of things you can do to look after your mental health without additional support but, if you are feeling like you need help, your GP can advise and refer you to the services available in Salford.
If you need urgent help, or are having suicidal thoughts, call 999 or go to A&E. You can also call the Samaritans, for free, any time on 116 123.
If you're struggling with dental issues like toothache, your first call should be to your dentist.
For urgent in-hours dental care, please contact 0161 476 9649. For urgent, out of hours, dental care, please contact 0161 337 2246.
If you got to A&E when you don't need to, you will be turned away and told which is the most appropriate health service for you.
An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
severe allergic reactions
severe burns or scalds
major trauma such as a road traffic accident