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I’m ill what should I do?

Last updated: 01/04/2020

Our emergency departments are always here for you and your family when you need urgent critical care.

Emergency departments deal with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:

If you need urgent medical attention but it's not a life-threatening situation, you could be seen and treated faster at a number of different services available across the region:

NHS 111

If you need medical help urgently, but it’s not life-threatening, contact NHS 111 first rather than going straight to A&E.

NHS 111 will help you right away and direct you to the best service for your needs. If needed, a healthcare professional will call you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day. You can access it online at 111.nhs.uk, on the NHS App or by calling 111, free of charge, from a landline or mobile phone.

If you or a loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury, you should call 999 straight away.

  • For other conditions, contact your GP as normal or speak to your pharmacist.
  • For advice on treating very minor ailments at home, speak to your pharmacist or visit nhs.uk

Minor Injuries

If you have a minor injury such as a sprain, strain, broken bone or minor head injury, you can also go straight to your local Minor Injury Unit (MIU) or Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) in Yate, Hengrove or Clevedon.


You can get treatment for seven common health conditions directly from their local pharmacist, without needing a GP appointment. The Pharmacy First scheme makes it easier and quicker for patients to access care and treatment on their high street, while easing pressure on GP services. Under the scheme, pharmacists can supply prescription-only medicines to treat seven conditions, where assessment indicates this is appropriate, without patients needing to visit their GP practice. The conditions are:

  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Infected insect bite
  • Impetigo (a bacterial skin infection)
  • Shingles
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women

The service is available direct from pharmacies or by referral from a GP, NHS 111 or other health services. If prescription medicines are not appropriate, pharmacists will offer advice or ‘over the counter’ medicines, or both. 


Self-care is perfect if your condition is something you will be able to treat at home, such as coughs, colds and common childhood illnesses.

GP practice

Your local GP practice can help with non-urgent illnesses or injuries that won't go away. They provide a range of services by appointment including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions, and using a GP can save time as they know your medical history. Please find your nearest GP practice.