Who is the most appropriate professional for your care?
Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your ailment. General Practice work in conjunction with other Primary Care providers such as Opticians and Pharmacists, who can deliver advice and treatment within the Community, so make sure you get to see the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
This may save you time in getting the help you need, and avoid arranging an unnecessary appointment with your Doctor.
Have you tried self-care?
A range of common illnesses such as cold and flu and minor injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. Many patients attend with conditions that would get better with self-care. Studies show that 25-40% of consultations with a GP are unnecessary so it would help if patients only booked an appointment with a GP if they really need to.
Examples of the ailments best treated by yourself are:
- Upset stomach
- Grazed knee
- Common cold
- Sore throat
- Colds & Flu
There are a wide variety of helpful Self Care information and resources available which could help you to treat your illness without the need for an appointment:
Self-Referral Services – No need to see a GP or Nurse you can refer yourself!
We have provided our patients with a list of services that you can self-refer to without the need to see a GP or Nurse. You can normally self-refer by phone, attend a drop in clinic or by completing a self-referral form which you can send via email or post to the service of your choice.
Get immediate help from your local Pharmacy
Visit a Pharmacy for healthcare advice without an appointment
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete’s foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Your local Pharmacist is able to help with minor cuts, sprains, aches and pains, colds and flu, headaches, rashes, cystitis, emergency contraceptive (most Pharmacies now offer this service) and other common conditions.
No appointment is necessary and your local Pharmacist is usually open late, is available at weekends and many public holidays. It will also save you making an appointment with your GP.
Pharmacy First Common Ailments Scheme
Many pharmacies in West Kent are taking part in the Common Ailments Scheme which helps people who don’t usually have to pay for NHS prescriptions access medicines for common minor ailments, free of charge.
Over the Counter Medicines
Please refer to NHS leaflet shown below regarding over the counter medicines.
New Medicine Service
The New Medicine Service is available at Pharmacies to give you extra help and advice if you’re just starting on a new medicine for one of the following conditions:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- people who have been given a new blood-thinning medicine
More about the New Medicine Service.
Treat Yourself Better
We support the campaign to encourage people to self-treat minor ailments such as colds and flu. The Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics website is full of information to help people understand when how long they can expect their symptoms to last for, when they need to see a doctor and when they would be better off visiting their local pharmacist for advice.
Whatever your eye problem your first port of call should be an optometrist. An optometrist is the best person to assess urgent eye problems, check for eye disorders and treat eye conditions. They have the professional training and necessary equipment to assess most eye problems.
If your optician is closed and you can’t wait until it reopens call 111
If you sustain an eye injury that requires immediate emergency treatment go to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
For dental emergencies, call the dentist with whom you are registered. You should receive a recorded message advising you of the arrangements that have been made for emergency cover. If you have not registered with a dentist, please try to do so as soon as possible. Dentist’s can perform an appropriate assessment and advise on necessary intervention including use of any antibiotics.
If you require emergency treatment, you should contact NHS 111
Dental emergencies are: acute dental pain, facial or oral swelling, bleeding from the mouth or trauma.
Do you need Social Care & Support?
If you or someone you know needs help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability, this website explains your options and where you can get support.
Need to speak with someone when the surgery is closed?
Call 111 when we are closed to speak to an NHS professional on any urgent health or medical issue.
Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
Urgent Care Centre
Urgent treatment centres are a facility you can go to if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
At the moment, the NHS offers a mix of walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres, all with different levels of service.
If you have an emergency please call 999
Medical emergencies can include:
- loss of consciousness
- an acute confused state
- fits that aren’t stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Get mental health help now
Call 0800 107 0160 to speak to someone in our highly trained and experienced Mental Health Matters team.
The Mental Health Matters phone line is free, confidential and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is provided by an independent charity and funded by Kent County Council.
Mental Health Crisis?
You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.
It’s important to use A&E only for serious injuries and major emergencies.
Get immediate help for minor injuries
Use your local minor injuries unit if you need medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.
Some examples of problems they deal with:
- sprains and strains
- suspected broken limbs
- minor head injuries
- cuts and grazes
- bites and stings
- minor scalds and burns
- ear and throat infections
- skin infections and rashes
- eye problems
- coughs and colds
- feverish illness in adults
- feverish illness in children
- abdominal pain
- vomiting and diarrhoea
- emergency contraception
Arrange an appointment with one of our Nursing Team
The Nurses are usually able to assess the situation and in some cases will organise initial blood tests and other investigations prior to arranging a follow up appointment with your doctor.
Practice nurses are qualified and registered nurses. They can help with health issues such as family planning, healthy living advice, dressings, travel vaccinations and child immunisations etc. The practice nurses also provides individualised care for long-term health conditions such as Asthma, COPD and Diabetes.
Health Care Assistants
Health Care Assistants support our practice nurses and carry out duties such as phlebotomy, blood pressure measurement, new patient checks, ear irrigation, suture removal, weight management and pill checks etc. They also assist the GPs and act as chaperone for coil and implant procedures.
Need medical advice or treatment from one of our doctors?
Some patients, often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an appointment with a doctor.