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Is A&E for me?

A&E is for serious and life-threatening emergencies only. Before you go there, ask yourself, is it a real emergency? If not, there are other local health services that can provide you with the right help and care you need.There is plenty of information available so you can find the best health services for you, your family and friends.

Winter is a key time for the NHS with many people picking up common illnesses, such as colds, sickness and vomiting bugs (often referred to as Norovirus). There are a range of local NHS services - which may be quicker, and even be closer to home. Using the right service means you don't have to spend time waiting in A&E, and treatment can be given quicker to those who are really in need of urgent care.

There are many different ways that people can get help themselves get the right treatment and allow busy NHS services to help the people who need them most;

  • Self care: Look after yourself at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
  • Pharmacist (chemist): For expert advice on common illnesses and the best medicines to treat them.
  • GP (Doctor): For illnesses that just won’t go away, arrange to see your doctor.
  • Call 111 if you need urgent healthcare, contact NHS 111 which will help you access the local service that can help you best.
  • NHS Walk-in Centre or Minor Injuries Unit: For treatment of minor illnesses or injuries without an appointment.
  • A&E or 999 for very severe or life threatening conditions.


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