Alternatives to A&E
We know that finding the right place to go when you become ill or are injured can be confusing. We want to help you to select the right service for your illness or injury, and in doing so, you will not only be looking after your health but using GHA services appropriately.
We can all help to ease the pressure on our emergency services by only visiting A&E or calling 190 with the most serious, or life-threatening injuries or illnesses and only dial 190 if you think you need an emergency ambulance.
A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma such as a road traffic accident
Less severe injuries can be treated at the PCC. A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment.
What to do for less serious injuries or illnesses
Self-care is the best way to treat common illnesses and injuries, such as; coughs and colds, slight cuts and grazes, sprains and strains, sore throats, sinusitis, earache, constipation and headaches.
You can treat them at home
with a range of medicines and a first aid kit bought from a pharmacy or
You can prepare for many common illnesses and injuries by having a chat with your local pharmacist who can give you advice on what self-care medications to have at home.
With all self-care if your symptoms recur, or if you are no better after two days, call GHA 111 for advice or contact the PCC.
If you require medical help but you’re not sure where to go, then please Talk before you Walk. You can call GHA 111 free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and, where appropriate, a clinical advisor will assess your symptoms, decide what medical help you need and advise where you need to go. This will ensure you get the right care from the right service in the timeliest way.
GHA 111 clinical advisors can arrange an appropriate appointment after assessing your needs. They can also give you self-care advice and information.
You should call GHA 111 if:
- You need medical help fast, but it is not a 190 emergency
- You think you need to go to accident and emergency or another GHA urgent care service
- You do not know who to call for medical help or you do not have a GP to call
- You require health information or reassurance about what to do next
For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP in the usual way.
Your local pharmacist is a healthcare professional who can give you clinical advice and treatment for common illnesses such as coughs, colds, aches and pains. They can also help you decide whether you need to contact other healthcare services.
You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms without an appointment. Many pharmacies now have a consultation area where you can discuss health concerns in private.
Some of the services available from your local pharmacy include help for:
- Emergency contraception (morning after pill)
- Raised temperature/fever
- Coughs, colds, flu
- Ear infections and earache
- Urine infections and cystitis
- Skin infections/rashes/allergic reactions
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Smoking cessation advice
- Blood sugar checks
For details of your nearest local pharmacy, and opening hours, go to www.gha.gi
Primary Care Centre
The PCC provides a wide range of family health services that include advice on health concerns, how to prevent you becoming unwell, vaccinations, examinations and treatment, and prescriptions for medicines. We can also refer you to other health services.
GP Out of Hours Service
The out of hours primary care support is now offered by GHA 111.
Also after 4.30pm and on weekends
After 4.30pm when the PCC is closed, and you feel you need to see or speak to a GP, please call GHA 111. A clinical advisor will assess you, give advice on when and where to go for treatment, or book you in to see an out of hours GP if needed.
During bank holidays and weekends, the PCC will continue to offer emergency face to face clinics 9-11am and 5-7pm. Appointments will be made after discussion with the clinical advisor in 111. They offer help, advice and treatment, and if you have an urgent clinical need that cannot wait they will make you an appointment at the PCC.