NHS 111 can help if you’re not sure where to go
Call NHS 111 or visit 111 online. They can direct you to the nearest urgent care service or book an appointment with an out of hours doctor. They can also book an appointment at A&E for you if it is an emergency. This may reduce your wait.
If you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not life-threatening you can go to your nearest minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre to get care. They are open at least 12 hours a day (some are open 24 hours a day), every day. They deal with conditions such as:
- 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
- high temperature in child and adults
- stomach pain
- being sick (vomiting) and diarrhoea
- emergency contraception
Urgent care for infants and children
Minor injuries units and urgent treatment centres can deal with many of the everyday children’s ailments and accidents. It can be difficult to know when to take your child to the accident and emergency department (A&E).
Take your child to A&E if they have:
- a fever and are still sluggish (floppy), despite having paracetamol or ibuprofen
- severe tummy (abdominal) pain
- a leg or arm injury and cannot use the limb
- swallowed a poison or tablets.
Call an ambulance if your child:
- stops breathing
- is struggling for breath (for example, you may notice them breathing fast, panting, becoming very wheezy, or see the muscles just under their ribcage sucking in when they breathe in)
- is unconscious or seems unaware of what’s going on
- has a cut that will not stop bleeding or is gaping open
- will not wake up
- has a fit for the first time, even if they seem to recover.
Useful NHS links
The NHS A-Z of health conditions gives advice on how to treat various conditions at home before seeking medical help.
Child First Aid
Visit the NHS website for first aid advice for burns, cuts, swallowing non-edible objects/substances and more.