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Guide to services

Here in Suffolk we have a wide range of healthcare, children and family services.  The guide to services below explains which service or professional is best to help you.


NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for you to access local health services.  Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.  If you need urgent healthcare, you should call NHS 111 before you go to any other service.  By calling NHS 111 you will be directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best.  It is available 24 hours a day, 365 day a year.

When should I call NHS 111?

  • When you need help fast but it is not life threatening
  • When you think you need to go to A&E
  • When it's outside of GP surgery hours
  • When you are visiting the area
  • When you do not know who to call for medical help.



For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, please call 999.

A&E and 999 are emergency services that should only be used when babies and children are badly injured or show symptoms of critical illness. These may be choking or breathing difficulties, being unconscious or unaware of surroundings, taken poison or tablets, severe abdominal pain.

Local A&E departments in and around our region include Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.


Wellbeing Suffolk Service

Wellbeing Suffolk provide a range of support for people with common mental health and emotional issues, such as low mood, depression or stress. They work with you to help you make the necessary changes to improve your wellbeing and quality of life. Their services are free and are available to people aged 16 and over - you can access their support through your GP or any other health or social care professional, or you can self-refer via the Wellbeing Suffolk website or by calling: 0300 123 1503 – lines are open 8am-8pm.

Services they provide include:



You will need to register with a GP (to find a GP in your area, use the NHS website Find Services System on www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories

How to register with a doctor (information advice leaflet) Please note this leaflet has been produced in English by NHS England specifically for refugees and asylum seekers.

Your GP can advise, give medicine and information on other services.  You will need to make an appointment but most GPs will see a baby quite quickly if you are worried.  After 6.30pm week days and weekends and public holidays most services are covered by GP out of hours services or call 111.


Digital services

Most GP practices across Suffolk and north east Essex now offer a range of online services to patients, including booking GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and accessing information in your personal GP record.

These services are part of moves towards a more convenient and open general practice and allow people to access services that best meet their needs, rather than attending A&E to be seen for less serious or non life-threatening conditions. From feedback received from patients and clinicians, virtual/online consultations are as good as the outcomes from a face to face consultation. However face to face appointments will be offered when necessary.

If you are interested in using GP online services, you can see what your GP practice provides on NHS Choices. Please type the postcode of your surgery into the search bar. Once you locate your practice, look under ‘Online Facilities’ to see what services are available.

Before you can use online services, you need to register at your practice. The registration process verifies a patient’s identity, ensuring no personal details are accessed by others. Once registered, you will have access to all the online services your practice has to offer.

Services offered by your GP may vary, as might the registration process. Please contact your surgery for more information.



Make sure you see a dentist on a regular basis. Discuss registering your child early on with your dentist and take them with you to appointments.

To find your nearest dentist visit www.nhs.uk

For out-of-hours dentist information call NHS 111.



Your local pharmacist will know about most everyday health issues. They can suggest the best medicine to help. There are often pharmacists in supermarkets and many are open late.

If your child has a temperature which has not come down with paracetamol or ibuprofen see your GP.

Visit www.nhs.uk where you can find the service locator that will help you find the pharmacist nearest to you. 

Health Visitor

Health Visitors are there to support you and your family during the early years.  They will visit you at home or see you in your local clinic.  They assess your health and development needs and can tell you where to get extra help if you need it.


Children's centres

Children's Centres are for families with children under five. The centres offer a wide range of services which include:

  • Health visitor led baby clinics and checks.
  • Play and stay sessions and activities for children and families.
  • Parenting support (including support for teenage parents).
  • Access to speech and language support.
  • Access to midwifery services and ante/post natal support.
  • High quality early learning in safe and friendly environments.
  • Crèche facilities for adult training programmes.

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