Where can I go to get help for my health out of hours?

Health issues unfortunately don't leave us alone at the weekend and people are often in need of medical assistance out of hours. Using NHS guidelines, we have provided some advice and information on where you can go for help when your GP is closed.
Female receptionist talking on the phone while patient waits

Do not attend the Urgent Treatment Centre, a Minor Injury Unit or Walk in Centre if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.

Call your GP practice, visit www.111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111

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 out of hours that can be found in full online.

Online NHS 111
This service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a service that provides medical advice as well as the details of the services closest to you that help you deal with your need following a medical assessment.

Only call NHS 111 if you’re unable to get help online or need to speak to someone.

Mental Health crisis
If you need urgent help because you - or someone you know - is having a mental health crisis, you can speak to trained mental health staff by dialing 111 and choosing option 2.

You can get immediate crisis support through UK crisis text service Shout. which is open 24/7. Text ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’ to get in touch with a trained crisis volunteer.

Visit your local pharmacy
Your pharmacist will be able to help you with a number of issues. Take a look at four ways that your local pharmacist can help you. Find their opening hours and check opening times using the NHS pharmacy service search.

Visit Peterborough Urgent Treatment Centre
They can help if you need treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as sprains and strains, suspected broken limbs and minor head injuries.

You do not need an appointment, or to be registered. You may be referred to the Urgent Treatment Centre by NHS 111, or you can just walk in.

Open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm.

01733 847090 and 01733 847091

When to visit an Urgent Treatment Centre

Take a look at the NHS guidance on when to visit an UTC to find out if this is the right service for your health needs. 

Find out more

Should I go to A&E?

Accident and Emergency departments are for serious or life-threatening emergencies and should not be used as 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 cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds
  • stroke
  • major trauma

Not all hospitals have an A&E department. Use the A&E service search to find your nearest A&E department or read the guidance in full from the NHS to find out more about when to go to A&E.

Update 22 September 2020

Peterborough City Hospital A&E trial 

A triage trial is running at Peterborough City Hospital to help make sure patients get the right care in the right place. 

From 9am to 10pm, anybody attending the hospital's Emergency Department (ED) without a referral from a medical professional, who hasn’t arrived by ambulance, or who hasn’t called NHS 111 in advance will be reviewed by a health practitioner.

They will assess the patient’s symptoms and decide if ED is the most appropriate place to get help.

If it isn't, patients will be redirected and asked to

  • Call NHS 111
  • Or to visit the most appropriate service such as booking a GP appointment or going to a local pharmacy.

The Peterborough scheme is running for eight weeks. And supports the new national NHS 111 First initiative urging people to contact NHS 111 before going to an Emergency Department.

Out-of-hours medicines

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 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.

Find out more 


Information correct as of 22 Sept 2020

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