Your local NHS is here for you. There is a wide range of support available across Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight to help ensure you can access the right care in the right place at the right time.

You can also help us to help you by choosing the right service when you need medical help or advice, and this will also help you get the treatment you need in a timely way. Hospitals and ambulances remain really busy treating patients who are very ill at the moment, but there are lots of alternative services available if your condition is not serious or life-threatening.

If you need urgent medical help and it is not a life-threatening emergency, contact 111 first (NHS 111) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A trained advisor will direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. This could be:

  • Your GP practice
  • A local pharmacy
  • A local minor injuries unit or
  • Urgent treatment centre (Please note: the opening hours of the UTCs in Portsmouth and Petersfield may be subject to change currently. Please check before attending.)

If you are advised to attend an Emergency Department (ED) for urgent care but it is not life-threatening emergency, your 111 advisor can book you a time slot to attend. Contacting 111 first helps to maintain social distancing in EDs, helping to keep you safe, and ensures you receive the right care, in the right place, in a more timely way.

Minor injuries and illnesses

Urgent treatment centres and minor injuries units can help with a number of conditions including:

  • cuts and grazes
  • infected wounds
  • broken bones or fractures, sprains and strains
  • bites and stings
  • minor head injuries
  • minor eye problems

If you have a minor illness:

Phone your GP practice or use the Econsult function on your practice website. You can also go to a local high street or supermarket pharmacy and seek advice there. If you are unsure contact  NHS 111.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency you/they should attend a local Emergency Department or call 999.

Medical emergencies can include:

Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.

Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

You can also help ease the pressure on local health services by making sure you are ready to treat common illnesses and injuries at home. Keep stocked up on essentials such as paracetamol, bandages and upset tummy remedies and order repeat prescriptions in good time so that you don't run out.

Many everyday illnesses and injuries such as colds, sore throats, sprains and strains, diarrhoea and sickness bugs can be treated at home. The NHS website provides lots of advice on conditions, symptoms, treating illnesses and injuries as well as when to seek further support. Visit the health A – Z section at www.nhs.uk.

Treating illness and injuries at home

Keeping essential medicines at home, such as painkillers, upset stomach relievers, antihistamines, plasters and bandages will help you be prepared to look after yourself and your loved if you do need to treat any injury or illness. The NHS website has a really useful guide to what to keep in your medicine and first aid kit at home. Remember to keep any medicine in a safe place and well out of the reach of children and check medicines regularly to make sure they are within their use by dates.

Your local pharmacy team can provide expert advice about over-the-counter medicines to treat many common health conditions, such as colds, aches and pains and tummy troubles, as well as advice on medication and services such as healthy living support.

Pharmacists are also trained to advise whether you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional if it is something more serious to ensure you get the help you need, and can also provide health and wellbeing advice.

Many pharmacies are open in the evening and on weekends and have a private consultation room where you can speak to a pharmacist. To find a local pharmacy click here. For more information on how your pharmacy can help you, click here.

If you need urgent medical help but it is not a life-threatening emergency, call 111 first or visit 111.nhs.uk where a trained advisor will direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. This could be:

  • Your GP practice
  • A local pharmacy
  • Local Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre

If you are advised to attend an Emergency Department (ED) for urgent care but it is not life-threatening emergency, your 111 advisor can book you a time slot to attend. Contacting 111 first helps to maintain social distancing in EDs, helping to keep you safe, and ensures you receive the right care, in the right place, in a more timely way.

Across Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight our Emergency Departments are located at:

For information on the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service click here.

You can also call 18001 111 on a textphone.

If you need an interpreter, this can be arranged when you contact NHS 111.

Find out more about the NHS 111 service and other ways you can contact 111 if you need additional support.

Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injuries Units are available across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and can help with expert advice and treatment for injuries and illnesses that need urgent medical attention but aren’t life threatening.

These services are led by experienced clinicians including highly skilled Nurse Practitioners, Paramedics, GPs and other health professionals who can offer treatment, advice and information. Many services also have on-site x-ray facilities.

Waiting times can be shorter than at Emergency Departments and the team can also refer or direct you to the most appropriate service for you if needed, supporting you to access the right care in the right place, in a timely way.

Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injuries Units can help with a number of conditions including:

  • sprains and strains
  • minor head injuries
  • cuts and grazes
  • suspected broken bones or fractures to the limbs
  • bites and stings
  • infected wounds
  • minor scalds and burns
  • minor eye problems.

Find an Urgent Treatment Centre or Minor Injuries Unit near you:

You can also find urgent care services near you by entering your postcode on the NHS website.

Types of appointments

GP practices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, carry out hundreds of thousands of appointments every month.

To make sure people can get access to care safely and quickly, practices aim to deliver a range of different ways of having an appointment to provide you with more choice and more convenience.

Types of appointments include phone consultations, online consultations or video consultations. Face-to-face appointments are still available if you need them.

Different roles in GP practices

Did you know that GP practices offer a wide range of specialist roles, alongside GPs, to ensure you get the right help as soon as possible? Below are some details of just some of the people you may see and how they can help you:

Undertake medication reviews for patients with complex, long-term needs and helping them to manage their conditions. They also work closely with the practice team to help with prescription and medication enquiries, supporting the repeat prescription system, dealing with acute prescription requests, and providing expertise in clinical medicines advice and medicines optimisation.

They are usually physiotherapists with enhanced skills that can help patients with issues such as back, neck and joint pain. By making it easier for patients to see a physiotherapist, they will have quicker access to diagnosis and treatment, helping them to manage their conditions more effectively and recover faster, so they can get back to normal life quickly. They will also help GPs to manage their workload more effectively and reduce the need for onward referrals.

A physician associate is a clinical graduate who, while not a doctor, has the skills and knowledge to help diagnose and manage the treatment and care of patients, alongside the practice team, under the supervision of an experienced GP. They can provide extra capacity to help with continuity of patient care and help free up consultants to concentrate on more complex cases.

Nursing associates help bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care as part of the nursing team. They allow nurses to focus on more complex clinical work. Nursing associates work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings.

Pharmacy technicians work alongside the clinical pharmacists and the wider practice team. They help with prescription and medication enquiries, providing safe and effective medicines optimisation as well as ensuring any hospital medication changes are up to date and accurate.

Occupational therapists work with people who have difficulties carrying out various day to day activities because of disability, illness, trauma, ageing, and a range of long-term conditions. They help people to get on with their every-day activities and stay in their own homes by providing adaptations.

Dietitians are experts in nutrition. They work with patients to alter their diets based on their medical condition and individual needs. Dietitians advise people and help them make informed and practical choices about their food and nutrition. This could include people with digestive problems, those who want to lose weight, or who need to put on weight after an illness, or people with an eating disorder or a food allergy.

Sometimes people visit their GPs for issues caused by non-medical things like loneliness, anxiety, debt and unemployment, where a medical prescription is not the best solution.

A social prescriber works with patients and their families to help them access a range of local community services that provide practical or emotional support and guidance of a non-medical nature.

This helps improve the health and wellbeing of people in the community and allows people to remain independent and live their best lives.

Health and wellbeing coaches engage with people to support them in taking an active role in their health, by providing advice and support. They take a holistic approach, helping people to identify difficulties or issues in all areas of their life and helping them find solutions and lifestyle changes that mean they can lead happy and fulfilled lives. Health and wellbeing coaches can also play a key role in helping to tackle health inequalities.

A care coordinator is a trained health professional that helps to support people's care. They offer a range of support such as monitoring and coordinating treatment plans, help educate people about their condition, connect people with services, and evaluate people's progress.

Receptionists are trained as patient advisors to ensure you get the right care, from the right person at the right time. Providing them with brief information means they can signpost you accordingly. This can save you time if an appointment is not needed or there are other services that can also support your needs. For example other members of the practice team or community services.

Paramedics work in a variety of roles within a general practice. Their background in pre-hospital care means that they are used to working with people with a variety of health conditions from coughs and minor injuries to more serious conditions such as asthma and heart attacks. They work alongside GPs and help manage routine or urgent appointments, telephone triage (assessment of urgency of illness or injury) and home visits.

For more information about the different healthcare professionals that work at GP surgeries and the wider community, download this NHS leaflet.

Need to register with a GP practice?

You can search for your nearest GP practice by entering your address on the on the NHS website. Find out more about how to register with a GP practice.

What should I do if I need support when my GP practice is closed?

If you need medical help and your GP practice is closed, and it is not a life-threatening emergency, contact the 111 service online or call 111. A trained adviser will direct you to the right NHS service depending on your needs. The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency you/they should still attend an Emergency Department or call 999.

If you are registered with a dentist you will be offered regular check-ups and can also seek advice for dental problems and pain. Click here to find out more about dental services, how to register with a dentist near you and how much treatment costs.

Dental services are currently commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Need urgent dental advice?

For urgent dental treatment or advice please contact your usual dental practice in the first instance. Alternatively visit the NHS 111 service online or call 111 which can put you in touch with an urgent dental service.

Having regular eye tests is an important check of your vision and also the health of your eyes.

Visit https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/opticians to find out more about opticians, eye tests and how to find an optician near you. Optician services are commissioned by NHS England.

Emergency Departments (EDs) at hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for serious and life-threatening conditions. If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency you/they should call 999 or visit the nearest Emergency Department.

Medical emergencies include:

Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.

Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

Not sure what to do?

If you need urgent medical help but it is not a life-threatening emergency, call 111 first or visit 111.nhs.uk where a trained advisor will direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. This could be:

  • Your GP practice
  • A local pharmacy
  • Local Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre

If you are advised to attend an Emergency Department (ED) for urgent care but it is not life-threatening emergency, your 111 advisor can book you a time slot to attend. Contacting 111 first helps to maintain social distancing in EDs and ensures you receive the right care, in the right place, in a more timely way.

Across Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight our Emergency Departments are located at:

Looking after your mental health is just as important as physical health, and often the two can be linked, so we are committed to ensuring we have the right services in place to support all of our communities. Your NHS and our partner organisations are all here for you, so please do reach out if you need support.

You can find out all about mental health services in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight here.

Community health services provide a wide range of support delivered close to home and, where necessary, at home. The aim of these services is to:

  • support self-management so people with a health condition can make the most of their life
  • help people to maintain independence
  • prevent hospital admissions and the need for ongoing care, through prevention and early intervention
  • support discharge from hospital and other services to help people recover at home.

Community services include services such as physiotherapy, community nursing, sexual health services, ongoing care for people with long term conditions and rehabilitation support to help people recover (e.g., after a fall or stroke).

The main providers of community health services across Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight are Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Solent NHS Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and local councils.

If your GP feels you need specialist assessment, investigations or treatment, they may refer you to a hospital to be seen by an appropriate specialist.

If you need to go to hospital to see a specialist, you have the right to choose which hospital you receive treatment from.

You can choose a hospital according to what matters most to you, whether it’s location, waiting times, reputation, clinical performance, visiting policies, parking facilities or patients’ comments.

Choosing a hospital

A choice of hospital is available for most patients and in most circumstances. Exceptions include emergency and urgent services, cancer, maternity and mental health services. If you need to be seen urgently by a specialist your GP will send you where you’ll be seen most quickly.

If you are having difficulty choosing a suitable hospital and would prefer not to make the decision yourself, your GP can recommend or choose for you.

Find out more about referrals for specialist care and choosing where you receive treatment.

In Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight most learning disability services are provided by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Isle of Wight NHS Trust – their websites have lots of information about health and where you can find support near you.

Mencap also has lots of information and can help you find support: www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support.

Easy Health is a website full of information about health. Visit the Easy Health website at www.easyhealth.org.uk.

Annual health check

If you are aged over 14 years old and have a learning disability, having an annual health check with your doctor or a nurse will help to keep you healthy.

For further information about the annual health check and what is involved, Mencap and the NHS website have useful information online.

Care for someone with a learning disability? Don’t let them miss out

If you care for someone with a learning disability, they can get extra support when visiting their doctor – all you, or they, have to do is ask for their name to be added to the GP learning disability register. You can help them do this by talking to their doctor’s surgery or use this template letter. Complete this letter and give it to the doctor during their next appointment.

Once on the register they can speak to their doctor about having a free annual health check every year. The annual health check is completed by a health professional at the patients GP practice and involves assessing, monitoring and treating any existing health conditions as well as detecting any undiagnosed health conditions.

There are lots of reasons why they should have their annual health check if their doctor says they can have one, including:

  • Not always knowing if they are unwell – the doctor can spot signs that you or the individual might miss.
  • Getting better treatment – for example new medication.
  • It offers an opportunity for them to talk to the doctor about anything worrying them.
  • The doctor can provide advice on lifestyle choices, such as diet.
  • They can have more control in their own health and body.
  • Make sure the doctor gives them a health action plan after the health check – this includes goals for them and the doctor to work towards together.

Another way you can ensure they are getting the very best healthcare is by supporting them to give their doctor consent for their information to be shared. With the individual’s permission, or in some cases the carer or family members permission, the doctor can add additional information to the individuals Summary Care Record (SCR).

Everyone has a SCR – speak to the doctor about the individual giving consent for Additional Information to be stored. his can include details of their learning disability, any physical/sensory disability, communication needs, contact details of a carer or next of kin. This allows all health professionals who care for them to know their latest needs and requirements.

Find out more about the learning disability register on the Mencap website.

Non-emergency patient transport is provided by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).

This is a non-emergency service for patients who are unable to use public or other transport due to their condition. It includes those who are:

  • attending hospital outpatient appointments
  • being admitted to or discharged from hospital wards
  • needing treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or renal dialysis or DVT treatment.

You can find out more about the service here or speak to your GP. You will need to be referred by your GP or another health professional to access the service.

You might also be interested in...