HEALTH: Choosing GP, A & E or Chemist?

Winter can be a tough time for your health with a drop in temperature and an increase in colds and flu. We can sometimes misunderstand our symptoms and rush to A&E when our local pharmacist could have helped. Here’s a helpful guide to making the correct decisions published by Voluntary Action Calderdale.

Self Care

Sore Throat. Grazed Knee. Stomach Ache. Hangover.

A lot of illnesses or symptoms, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated in your home by using a well-stocked medicine cabinet and by getting plenty of rest.

NHS 111

Unsure? Confused? Need Help?

NHS 111 is a free to call service which will help you when you need to access medical and dental help fast but it is not an emergency. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you access local urgent health care services. To access the NHS 111 service via textphone please call 18001 111.

Pharmacist (Chemist)

Diarrhoea. Runny Nose. Painful cough. Headache.

Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional. They can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them, without the need to go to your GP first. You don’t need an appointment and many are open during the evenings and weekends.


Unwell. Vomiting. Ear pain. Back ache.

If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. If you need a GP urgently overnight or at the weekend just ring your GP’s normal number. To find your local GP surgery opening times visit NHS Choices

NHS Walk in Centre

If you cannot get to see your GP and it’s not getting any better.

Walk-in services treat minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to A&E. Calderdale’s Walk in Centres are in Todmorden and Halifax. You do not need an appointment and will be seen by an experienced nurse or doctor.


Choking. Chest pain. Severe bleeding. Blacking out.

Accident and Emergency departments and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a serious or life-threatening situation. A&E provides emergency treatment for people who show symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured.

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