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.
NHS 111 First can book you into A & E
Since December 2020, NHS 111 can book you a time-slot at your local A & E department or arrange an appointment at a minor injury unit, pharmacy or GP if it’s more appropriate. It will also send an ambulance if the patient’s condition is serious or life-threatening.
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.
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
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
- 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 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.
Information correct as of 29 March 2021