When you're ill, know who to turn to

Choose the right option for your condition

'When you're ill, know who to turn to' outlines the options available when you need medical assistance, alongside a list of symptoms that could be appropriately dealt with by each option. These include:

  • Self-care: for minor illness or injury you can deal with yourself, such as hangover, grazed knee, sore throat, coughs and colds
  • Pharmacist: for expert advice or information on medicines and healthcare, including the Minor Ailment Service.  Examples of minor ailments include coughs and colds, indigestion, constipation, aches and pains
  • Dentist: for regular check-ups, routine treatment and emergency care
  • Optometrist (optician): for any eye problems including blurred vision, difficulty seeing well or discomfort - red eyes, irritated eyes
  • Family doctor (GP): when your illness or injury just won't go away make an appointment to see your GP who can provide  advice and information about conditions such as vomiting, ear pain, sore belly, backache
  • NHS out-of-hours service: Turn to your NHS out-of-hours service when you are too ill to wait until your GP or dental surgery is open. Call NHS 24 on 111.
  • Minor injuries service: if you require urgent care for a minor injury such as cuts, minor burns, sprains
  • Emergency Department: Turn to 999 or your hospital's Emergency Department only for serious illness or accidents such as suspected stroke, heart attack, head injuries, fracture or wounds requiring stitches



 The NHS Minor Ailment Service