If you need support for your health outside of the standard opening hours of your local GP, there are places that you can go for support.
Where you can go to get help out of hours
The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that's convenient for you. They have produced guidance on how best to access services outside of hours.
- Phone NHS 111: This service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides medical advice and the details of the services closest to you that help you deal with your need following a medical assessment.
- Visit your local pharmacy: Your pharmacist can help you with some issues. Find out how.
- Visit your nearest NHS walk-in centre: If you need treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes, you can visit your nearest NHS walk-in centre, urgent care centre or minor injuries unit. These are not suitable for treating long-term conditions. You do not need an appointment or to be registered to be seen at one of these services. You may be referred to one of these services by NHS 111, or walk in.
When to visit an urgent care centre
Take a look at the NHS guidance on when to visit an urgent care centre (walk in centre) to find out if this is the right service for your health needs.
Should I go to A&E?
Accident and Emergency departments are for serious or life-threatening emergencies and aren't an alternative to a GP appointment. You should go to your nearest A&E if you require urgent medical attention.
For example, if you're experiencing:
- loss of consciousness
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- fits that are not stopping
- severe bleeding that won't stop
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma
Running out of your medication during the holidays or over the weekend can be a big worry. If you run out the medication you need outside of your GP practice’s normal opening hours and need some urgently, there are a few steps you can take to get an emergency supply.
Where you can get medication from will depend on whether you already have a prescription or whether a prescription is needed. Take a look at the guidance from the NHS to find out more.