Who should I See?
Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your ailment. General Practice work in conjunction with other Primary Care providers such as Opticians and Pharmacists, who can deliver advice and treatment within the Community, so make sure you get to see the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
This may save you time in getting the help you need and avoid arranging an unnecessary appointment with your Doctor.
Have you tried self-care?
A range of common illnesses such as cold and flu and minor injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. Many patients attend with conditions that would get better with self-care. Studies show that 25-40% of consultations with a GP are unnecessary so it would help if patients only booked an appointment with a GP if they really need to.
Examples of ailments best treated yourself:
- Upset stomach
- Grazed knee
- Common cold
- Sore throat
- Colds & Flu
There is a wide variety of helpful Self Care information and resources which could help you to treat your illness without the need for an appointment:
Self-Referral Services – No need to see a GP or Nurse you can refer yourself
We have provided our patients with a list of services that you can self-refer to without the need to see a GP or Nurse. You can normally self-refer by phone, attend a drop in clinic or by completing a self-referral form which you can send via email or post to the service of your choice.
Get immediate help from your local pharmacy
Visit a pharmacy for healthcare advice without an appointment
Your local pharmacist is able to help with minor cuts, sprains, aches and pains, colds and flu, headaches, rashes, cystitis, emergency contraceptive (most pharmacies now offer this service) and other common conditions.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete’s foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
NHS Pharmacy First Scotland
NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is an NHS service provided by your local community pharmacy (a pharmacy with a contract to provide NHS prescriptions and services).
- If you have a minor illness, a pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice
- You do not usually need an appointment and you can go to any pharmacy
- Your pharmacist can give you advice for a minor illness, and medicine if they think you need it
- They will set up a Patient Medication Record (PMR) to make a note of any advice and treatment they give you
- You can ask to use the pharmacy’s consultation area or room if you want to speak to the pharmacist in private.
Please note during the current pandemic, physical distancing restrictions will be in place, it maybe more appropriate to telephone the pharmacy before attending.
Who is the service for?
You can use NHS Pharmacy First Scotland if you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland or you live in Scotland. Speak to the pharmacy team if you need further details. Visitors to Scotland are excluded.
How does the service work?
- Pharmacists and their teams are experts in medicines and can help with minor health concerns
- A pharmacist can give you advice and treatment (if you need it)
- for minor illnesses such as the following.
|Athlete’s foot||Hay fever|
|Blocked or runny nose||Indigestion|
|Cold sores||Mouth ulcers|
|Cystitis (in women)||Sore throat|
Treat Yourself Better
We support the campaign to encourage people to self-treat minor ailments such as colds and flu. The Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics website is full of information to help people understand when how long they can expect their symptoms to last for, when they need to see a doctor and when they would be better off visiting their local pharmacist for advice.
No appointment is necessary and your local pharmacist is open late, is available at weekends and many public holidays.
Medicines in Scotland: What is the right treatment for me?
Medicines are usually prescribed by a doctor. However, other healthcare professionals can also prescribe medicines (for example dentists and some nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists). In the video presentation “healthcare professional” is used to describe the person prescribing the medicine.
Need help with Social Care?
There are lots of services which offer help and support to improve your quality of life and allow you to continue to live in your own home. For example, if you are elderly or disabled, have a long-term health condition or are unwell. However, it can sometimes be confusing to try to work out what help is available and who offers what services.
For dental emergencies, call the dentist with whom you are registered. You should receive a recorded message advising you of the arrangements that have been made for emergency cover. If you have not registered with a dentist, please try to do so as soon as possible. Dentist’s can perform an appropriate assessment and advise on necessary intervention including use of any antibiotics.
Advice and information is available by calling a Dental Advice Helpline.
However, if you are unregistered currently and you require emergency treatment, you should contact NHS 24 on 111.
Dental emergencies are acute dental pain, facial or oral swelling, trauma or bleeding from the mouth.
Whatever your eye problem your first port of call should be an Optometrist. An Optometrist is the best person to assess urgent eye problems, check for eye disorders and treat eye conditions. They have the professional training and necessary equipment to assess most eye problems.
Opticians can also refer patients to Hospital if and when appropriate.
Find a local Optician in your area (once you are linked to the NHS Inform page, select your local Health Board or local Authority to find an Optician near you).
Self-help guide: Eye problems
Find out more about your eye problems, when you can use self-care, and what to do if your condition worsens and you need medical help
If your optician is closed and you can’t wait until it reopens call NHS24 on 111.
If you meet a set of criteria you may be entitled to a number of benefits when using NHS ophthalmic services. These could include free NHS eye examinations, NHS optical vouchers and refunds. This guide will explain these entitlements and who is eligible.
If you sustain an eye injury that requires immediate emergency treatment go to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
Feeling low, anxious or stressed?
Breathing Space was launched in 2002 to address serious concerns about the mental wellbeing of people in Scotland. The service became a national phoneline in 2004.
Breathing Space complements the work of other phone lines and agencies which are endeavouring to reduce suicide rates in Scotland.
Our advisors come from a range of mental health, counselling and social work backgrounds. There is an equal ratio of male to female advisors.
Need help now? Call free on 0800 83 85 87.
Our website also contains lots of help and support for your Mental Wellbeing
Need to speak with someone when the surgery is closed?
NHS 111 is a free phone service which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
It offers you a one-stop number if you have urgent, but not life-threatening, symptoms and want a fast and easy way to get help when you need it.
You should call 111 if:
- it’s not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
- you don’t think it can wait for an appointment with your GP
- you don’t know who to call for medical help.
For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in the usual way. For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.
Medical emergencies can include:
- loss of consciousness
- an acute confused state
- fits that aren’t stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Mental Health crisis?
You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.
It’s important to use A&E only for serious injuries and major emergencies.
For everything else, Minor Injury Units, out-of-hours services and your local pharmacy can also help.
Get immediate help for Minor Injuries
Use your local Minor Injuries Unit if you need medical treatment or advice which does not require a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.
Some examples of problems they deal with:
- sprains and strains
- suspected broken limbs
- minor head injuries
- cuts and grazes
- bites and stings
- minor scalds and burns
- ear and throat infections
- skin infections and rashes
- eye problems
- coughs and colds
- feverish illness in adults
- feverish illness in children
- abdominal pain
- vomiting and diarrhoea
- emergency contraception
Arrange an appointment with one of our Nursing Team
Our Nurses are usually able to assess the situation and in some cases will organise initial blood tests and other investigations prior to arranging a follow up appointment with your Doctor.
See a Nurse about: blood pressure checks, back pain, chest infection, cough and cold, rash, sore throat, urine infection, cervical smears, dressings, family planning advice, contraceptives, minor injuries and ailments, immunisations, diabetes management, asthma care, COPD, heart care, smoking cessation, free health checks for 40-70 year olds, travel health advice, removal of stitches and clips etc.
Need medical advice or treatment from one of our Doctors?
Some patients, often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an appointment with a doctor.