Visiting 111.nhs.uk or calling 111 when you need medical help over the bank holiday weekend can help you get the right care at the right time and ensure emergency services have capacity to see those who need it most.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online via 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 for free.

When you call you will be connected to an advisor who can help you get the right treatment, first time or make a timed arrival slot at a minor injuries unit, urgent treatment centre or if you need it, at your nearest local Emergency Department.

For ongoing or non-urgent concerns please contact your local pharmacist or GP practice.

GP practices in Dorset are experiencing extremely high demand, however face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. Please check out your practice’s website for the best way of getting in touch or to submit an eConsult form.

If you are on holiday in the county, you can still use 111 for urgent care but if you need primary care services you should call your usual GP practice.

Local GP and clinical lead for the Dorset-wide Urgent and Emergency Care Group Dr Simon Watkins said “In these times of unprecedented demand we are asking people to help support their local NHS and wider health and care system by doing what they can when they need help, whether this is choosing the most appropriate care and leaving services available for those who need them most or taking care of their own health, for example getting their COVID-19 vaccination or thinking about how self-care may help them stay healthy.”

“As a practising GP I am always happy to see people if they need to be seen, but often they could be treated better elsewhere so they may get directed to a different service in order to be seen more quickly.”