Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Feeling unwell? Make sure you use the right care.
22 February 2017

Winter is a very busy time for your local NHS services, so it’s important to stay well and make the right choice if you do need medical treatment.

There are a number of ways you can seek help if you’re feeling unwell:

  • For minor cuts, colds and coughs, speak to your pharmacist, and ensure you’re stocked up on home remedies such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to help manage your symptoms.
  • For chronic backache, persistent pain or earaches, contact your GP. Many GPs can offer advice over the phone, or arrange a hospital referral should you need one.
  • For injuries such as sprains or strains that aren’t serious, visit your local minor injuries unit (MIU).
  • If your condition isn’t life-threatening, but you’re not sure who to contact or your GP, pharmacy or MIU are closed, call the NHS 111 service for advice and medical help.
  • Your local Emergency Department (A&E) is only for emergencies, such as heavy bleeding, broken bones, chest pain, suspected stroke and burns. If you’re not sure whether your condition is an emergency, call 111 first.

By seeking the most appropriate care for your needs, you’re not just helping ensure you get treated promptly, but will be easing pressure on your local emergency department, allowing staff to concentrate on people with life-threatening conditions.