Patients, Visitors & The Public

Get the right NHS treatment

Get convenient, expert, confidential advice and treatment for a wide range of common complaints from your high street pharmacy without having to wait for a GP appointment, or go to A & E.

Feeling unwell? - There are a range of NHS services on your doorstep. Emergency services should be used only in very serious or life-threatening situations.

During winter, more people get ill or are injured than any other times of the year and by choosing well means you will get the best treatment for you this winter.

Make the right choices over the winter period - this includes:

  • Not making A&E your first port of call - but to consider all doorstep services, i.e. local GP and pharmacy (when open) and calling 111/out of hours surgery if you do fall ill suddenly but you want to check your symptoms with an expert clinician.
  • If you are ill over the weekend and need health advice, contact NHS 111 out of hours service by dialling 111. They are open 6.30pm - 8am and are available 24 hours weekends and bank holidays.
  • A&E should not be your first port of call if you fall ill. 999 should only be used if your condition is critical or life threatening
  • Your pharmacist can provide advice on everyday health problems and the best medicine to treat them. They will refer you to a GP if you need further treatment. 
    Your local high street pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.  To find your local NHS services, go to  

You can help by:

  • Making sure you have the basics at home such as a thermometer and paracetamol
  • Stocking up with medications if you have a long term condition or stocking up with basics in case you do fall ill with a cold or the flu
  • Electronic Prescription System - remember to pick up repeat prescriptions from your local surgery or pharmacy or in advance for EPS so you can collect from your local pharmacy
  • Keep warm – this may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
  • Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.

Looking out for others over the winter period - this includes:

  • Keeping an eye on elderly people living next door, or elderly relatives who will be on their own, i.e. pick up their prescriptions for them, check they have their heating on, or do their shopping so they aren't going out in the icy weather.
  • Do your good deed for the day - pop round to an elderly person for a cup of tea and a chat - can check this way that they are staying warm 

If you need to see a doctor urgently outside of opening hours, contact your GP surgery who will then direct you to the out-of-hours service.

To find your nearest GP visit: NHS Choices

A&E or 999

If you're injured or seriously ill you should go, or be taken to A&E.
The Countess of Chester Hospital's Emergecncy Department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat serious and life-threatening emergencies. This includes severe breathing difficulties, suspected broken bones and heavy blood loss

To find out what is the right service to use if you are ill or injured, please visit: NHS Choices