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Choose well is a national NHS campaign aimed at helping people to be aware of the choice of NHS healthcare services available to them, so that they make the right choice on which one to visit when the need arises.
Over the winter months more people turn up at local emergency departments (also known as accident and emergency or A&E). In some of these instances, and where people only have minor ailments, there may have been a quicker and more appropriate solution for accessing healthcare advice and treatment.
To help you to choose well, please find below a list of the NHS healthcare services available to you and some examples of when it is appropriate to use these services.
Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home. For advice on what to do and what to take, speak to your pharmacist or call the NHS 111 service on 111. The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, every day and can be called when you need medical help or advice but it’s not an emergency. You can also call NHS 111 if you don’t have a GP to call or don’t know who to call. You just need to dial 111 from your telephone to access this service.
You will also find a wealth of information on conditions and treatments on the NHS Choices website, including advice for a wide range of ailments and illnesses. Visit: www.nhs.uk
Pharmacies can advise on and sell the best medicines for many common illnesses. You do not need an appointment to visit a pharmacy.
Pharmacies can also dispense medical prescriptions written to you by a doctor.
To search for pharmacy services near you, use the service search on the NHS Choices website at: www.nhs.uk/service-search
GPs provide medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for illnesses which are not life-threatening. Patients need to register with a GP practice in order to be seen. To search for GP services near you, use the service search on the NHS Choices website at: www.nhs.uk/service-search
This service provides out of hours advice and assessment for illnesses which are not life-threatening but cannot wait until your GP surgery opens.
Dial 111 from your telephone to find out more about your local out of hours GP service.
This service is for minor injuries and illnesses, such as:
You don’t need to register to use a minor injuries unit, or call to make an appointment – just turn up during opening hours.
You can search for your closest minor injuries unit and find out contact details and opening times online at NHS Choices. Visit: www.nhs.uk/service-search
You can also call your GP surgery to find out where your local minor injuries unit is.
Both of these services are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The ambulance service can be reached by calling 999.
Musgrove Park Hospital has an emergency department (accident & emergency / A&E) and every year the department sees and treats over 56,000 patients.
The function of the emergency department is to treat patients who have either suffered a serious injury or accident, or who are suffering from a sudden and serious illness or condition. If you, or the person you are with, are suffering from any of the conditions listed below then please make your way straight to the emergency department or call an ambulance by dialling 999.
The precise location of Musgrove's emergency department can be found on our hospital site map.
This service is for life threatening illnesses and injuries only, such as:
Please note that patients with the most serious injuries or illnesses will be treated first.