which service to use?
Most people will immediately think of their local GP Practice or A&E Department when needing healthcare. But did you know that there are other, sometimes more appropriate, options available? Read our 5 point guide to find out more...
1. Pharmacy first
For minor ailments and non-urgent or persistent problems
The Pharmacy First service gives you the option of visiting your local pharmacist for self-care advice for common health conditions such as coughs, colds or earache. The NHS Pharmacy First scheme encourages patients to self-care following advice from their pharmacist. Patients will only be recommended or provided with medication if absolute necessary.
The service can reduce the need for you to make an appointment with your local GP, use an out of hours NHS service or visit A&E. This means when you have a common condition that can be treated with self-care or over the counter medication Pharmacy First is an option.
Many pharmacies across west Leeds are open until late and at weekends, which is useful if you start to feel unwell with one of the minor ailments included in Pharmacy First, and you don’t need an appointment to access the service.
2. Your GP Practice
For illnesses and injuries that wont go away
If you have a long term illness or a health matter that is not suitable for Pharmacy First, does not require a fast response, and is not serious or life threatening, you should visit Bramley Village Health and Wellbeing Centre.
There are a number of options available for you depending on the nature of your health matter. You can attend our walk-in service for routine and urgency health problems, you can make an appointment with one of our specialist nurses if you have a long term condition, or you can request a telephone appointment with our Practice Matron if you are part of our care of the elderly scheme. Visit our opening hours and services page for more information on the range of services we offer at our GP Practice.
3. Call NHS 111
For illnesses and injuries that need treating fast
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.
Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
4. Visit a Minor Injuries Unit
For non-life threatening injuries
If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU), rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait.
Please see maps below for location of minor injuries units.
Shakespeare Medical Centre
Burmantofts Health Centre
Cromwell Mount, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7TA
St Georges Centre
St. Georges Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 4UZ
Local Care Direct
Hillside Bridge Health Centre
4 Butler Street West, Bradford, BD3 0BS
Newall Carr Road, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 2LY
5. Emergency Department (A&E)
For illnesses and injuries that are serious or life threatening
An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- persistent, severe chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units (MIUs). An A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment. If your GP practice is closed you can call NHS 111, which will direct you to the best local service to treat your injury. Alternatively, you can visit an NHS walk-in centre (WIC), which will also treat minor illnesses without an appointment
If you arrive by ambulance, the ambulance crew will report to the hospital on arrival. If you are seriously ill, the staff will already know because the ambulance crew will have alerted them en route. If you’re not in a life-threatening or serious condition, you will be prioritised by the A&E hospital team along with other patients waiting to be seen – arriving by ambulance does not necessarily mean you will be seen sooner than if you had walked in to A&E.
If you go to A&E by yourself, you’ll need to register first. You’ll be asked a few questions such as name and address but also why you are visiting A&E. If you have been at the hospital before the registrar may also check your health records.