Health services are currently experiencing high levels of demand. At the same time staff sickness rates are rising due to COVID-19 cases in the community.
Teams across the NHS – at GP practices, NHS 111, hospitals, mental health services, ambulance and community services – are all working incredibly hard to make sure you can receive high quality services.
The NHS is always here to help you – but people are being asked to use services wisely to make sure you can get the most appropriate support and help us to help you.
We want to make sure you get seen in the right place, at the right time by the right healthcare professional.
There are many different services to choose from. This page will help you understand which service is best for your needs.
The NHS website provides health advice and guidance for numerous conditions and supports you to find the service you need.
Minor illnesses and injuries can be treated at home with rest, simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen and basic first aid.
COVID-19 can also be treated at home in the majority of cases. Here are some tips on managing this.
Your pharmacist can do so much more than complete your prescription. They can give you expert clinical advice for minor health concerns and help with many common illnesses like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains. And the best part is you don’t need to make an appointment.
Pharmacists are trained experts in managing minor illnesses and using medicines safely. They can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Most local pharmacies have private consultation rooms where your pharmacist can talk to you confidentially. They are not required to note anything in your medical records, which some people may prefer.
Repeat prescriptions should be available as usual. It is important to only request your medicines when they are running low (e.g., one week’s supply left) as you usually would. If you are self-isolating or unwell, friends and family are able to collect prescriptions on your behalf.
For urgent medical help, contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk or make a free call by dialling 111. Help is available 24 hours per day from a team of highly trained experts.
NHS 111 call handlers can advise you where local NHS services are, help with prescriptions, offer self-care advice and even arrange appointments including giving you an arrival time at an Urgent Treatment Centre or A&E.
The doctors and nurses at your local GP surgery are there to support you with a range of new and ongoing health concerns. You will usually have to make an appointment and they are working under enormous pressure at the moment, so you may find that you get the right help sooner by using the options described above.
If your GP practice is closed and you cannot wait until they re-open please use NHS 111 (above).
For injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening you can use an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), walk-in centre or Minor Injuries Unit (MIUs). It is best to NHS 111 first to book an appointment at the nearest service to you.
The NHS website provides an overview of the conditions these services can treat.
Brighton and Hove
A&E and Emergency Departments are for life-saving emergencies only.
If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency – such as severe bleeding, breathing difficulties or chest pain – please dial 999 or go to your local A&E department.
The Sussex Mental Healthline offers crisis care for people in urgent need of help with their mental health. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 0309 500
Text Relay calls and New Generation Text calls from hearing and speech impaired callers are also available on 0300 5000 101.
For more information on community support, help available and the impact of the national restrictions on local council services, please visit the following pages: