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Choose the right service

Choose the right health service

Choosing the right NHS services helps patients get the right care in the shortest time possible. Choosing well also helps to ensure that ambulance and emergency services are able to care for the most seriously ill.

Remember that 999 and A&E services are only for serious life threatening emergencies.

If your GP surgery is closed, calling the NHS free number 111 or visiting www.nhs.uk can help you to find the right service out of hours.

Choosing the right NHS service if you become ill or are injured

To help you choose well ask yourself the following question:

Is it really an emergency? Or an accident?

If so, then A&E (your local accident and emergency or casualty department) is the right place or call 999. If it's not an accident or an emergency and its not suitable for self care then you can call NHS 111, which is a 24/7 service.

Do I need to see my GP?

There is urgent GP cover 24 hours a day seven days a week. Just ring your usual GP Surgery number day or night and if your surgery is closed you will either be automatically diverted to the 111 service to access out of hours GP services or asked to hang up and ring 111 yourself, which is free to ring from landlines and mobiles.  In fact most surgery telephone numbers are operational between 8am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday so you can just ring 111 yourself if you need to access help outside these hours.

What about dental problems?

Out of hours just ring your dentist or ring 111

Could my local pharmacist help?

Your local pharmacist can provide advice on most common health issues. They can suggest and dispense medicine and other health products.  There are often Pharmacists in supermarkets and many are open late.  Visit www.nhs.uk service locator to help you find your nearest pharmacy.

If you have a social care emergency

Need help urgently with your mental health?

If you are currently receiving care or treatment from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, use the number you have been given. If you can’t find it, call 0300 123 1334.

Samaritans (116 123), Childline (0800 1111) and FRANK (0300 123 660) can help too.

Choose Well

If you become unwell or are injured make sure you choose the right NHS service to make sure you get the best treatment.

Use the links below to get advice about when and how to use these NHS services.

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Is A&E for me...?

Is A&E for me...?

Download one of our postcards with advice on alternatives to visiting A&E...

Read more about the school poster competition and see all winning entries here: Poster Competition

Useful links


NHS 111 - NHS emergency and urgent care services

NHS - Check your symptoms

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