We understand it’s not always easy to know how to get help when you’re not well. There are a lot of different ways to access healthcare, which can be confusing, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. To help, we’ve put together a step by step guide to show you how to manage your health and get the most out of your local NHS services.
Sometimes illnesses can get worse quickly, so seek help from the appropriate source as soon as you feel unwell – if you don’t your condition could become worse and turn into an emergency. If you suffer from a long term condition such as asthma or diabetes make sure you have an action plan in place so you know what to do when your condition changes or worsens.
Coughs and colds and other minor illnesses will generally get better on their own. Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet so that if you do feel ill, you can try treating yourself before you make an appointment to see a doctor. Your pharmacist can also advise you on a range of minor illnesses and ailments, and it’s quicker and easier to pop into your local pharmacist than it is making an appointment to see a doctor. If you need a pharmacy with longer opening hours please visit www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Pharmacy/LocationSearch/10
If you can’t treat your illness yourself, then your GP can help. Get to know your local practice, and find out the best way to book an appointment. Most practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland offer online booking which can be quicker. Practice nurses are also able to treat and advise on many conditions and will often be able to see you more quickly.
If you need immediate medical help for physical or mental issues, but it’s not a life threatening emergency, NHS 111 can help. You’ll speak to a highly trained call adviser who will assess your condition and, if necessary transfer you to a clinician for a second opinion. They can give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the local service that can help you best.