Making The Right Decision
Westbury Group Practice are keen to educate patients about the different services available to NHS patients. By making the right choice at the right time, you can get the best possible treatment through the NHS. If you’re ever unsure where to go, call 111. The team at NHS 111 will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please read the articles below to ensure that you are making the right decision about your care. Click here for further information.
Self-care is perfect if your condition is something you will be able to treat at home. In fact, home is the best place for you. A big part of your recovery from these minor ailments is to rest and drink plenty of fluid. You can plan ahead by stocking up on healthcare essentials you might need, like paracetamol. Ask your pharmacist for advice on stocking your home medicines cabinet.
Pharmacists (Chemists) are experts on medicines and how they work. They can also offer advice on common complaints such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and other health issues, such as healthy eating and giving up smoking. They can 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
Your local Doctor’s surgery provides a range of services, including general medical advice and treatment, prescriptions, referral to a specialist or hospital (where appropriate), jabs and tests. Remember to tell your doctor if you have tried or are still taking self-care treatment. Surgeries are always busy, so be sure to keep to your appointment time and cancel it if you need to; missed appointments waste precious time and resources. Remember to keep calm, do everything you can to help the person, but don’t put yourself in danger and don’t give the person anything to eat, drink or smoke. Unless you need emergency medical attention avoid local A&E departments. Doctors and nurses there are equipped to deal with serious cases of injury and illness, not routine and minor ailments. Calling an ambulance won’t necessarily mean you are seen any quicker at A&E as the most serious cases are prioritised.
NHS Walk-In Centres
NHS walk-in centres offer fast and convenient access to healthcare advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. They are open from early morning to late evening, seven days a week. They are run by experienced NHS nurses, and you don’t need to make an appointment.
NHS 111 & Out Of Hours
For urgent medical needs that are not emergencies, NHS 111 is a free national phone number able to provide advice at any time on where and how to receive the most appropriate treatment.
Minor Injuries Units
Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. You do not need an appointment to visit a Minor Injuries Unit. Minor Injuries Units are led by highly qualified nurse practitioners with more experience and expertise than many doctors in this kind of treatment. Minor Injuries Units can treat a wide variety of problems including, cuts, sprains, broken bones, bites, stings, infected wounds, minor head injuries and minor eye infections.
Accident & Emergency or 999
It is often very obvious when emergency care is needed for serious injury or illness. You should get medical attention by either taking the patient to the nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or by phoning 999 for an emergency ambulance. An emergency is a critical or life threatening situation such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest paint, difficulty breathing, overdosing or poisoning.