choosing the right NHS service for you

accessing the right service for your needs

There are many different types of services available to patients of the NHS and that can be confusing, not everyone always knows which service is most appropriate for their needs. By taking some time to ensure you are accessing the right treatment or service you will help the NHS run more efficiently for you and be able to access the service you need more quickly. It is important for all of us to understand when to call for emergency help or attend Accident and Emergency, when to seek help from your GP or when a pharmacist might be more appropriate. The below information is intended as guidance, if you would like further advice please telephone reception at Ledbury Health Partnership.


Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from a health professional. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it. Self-care is recommended when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better. If you are not sure how to manage your medical condition pease contact reception and the team can navigate you to an appropriate service. All of our reception staff are trained Care Navigators and can guide you on how to access the treatment you need. The receptionist may recommend a service that is outside of the practice.

Minor ailments that can be treated at home include...

Colds and flu, cough, sore throat, allergies, mouth ulcers, heartburn and indigestion, constipation, haemorrhoids, vomiting, diarrhoea, sunburn, warts, mild to moderate pains such as headaches and muscular pain, dry/sore eyes and conjunctivitis, head lice, nappy rash, fungal infections (athletes foot, thrush etc), threadworms, travel sickness, mild to moderate skin problems (cuts, insect bites, eczema, etc)

What should you keep in your medicines cabinet?

A well-stocked medicine cabinet should include: pain relief (paracetamol and ibuprofen), antihistamines (for allergies and insect bites), oral rehydration salts (eg. Dioralyte), anti-diarrhoea tablets (eg. Imodium), indigestion treatment (eg. Rennies or Gavison), Sunscreen and basic first aid supplies (antiseptic cream, plasters, thermometer, eyewash, tape, bandages and tweezers)

Ledbury Health Partnership - Self Care icon


Cuts and grazes

Sore throat


NHS Symptom checker

Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that our local pharmacist could resolve.  But by visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble. Instead of booking and waiting for a GP appointment, you can visit your local pharmacist any time: just walk in. All pharmacists can recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines that will help to clear up the problem. If your problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP, your pharmacist will recognise this and advise you to contact the Surgery. What’s more, many pharmacies are open in the evenings and at weekends. If everybody went to a pharmacist with common health problems, more time would be freed for our GPs.

Diarrhoea and indigestion

Coughs and colds

Aches and pains

Hayfever and allergies

Ledbury Health Partnership - Community Pharmacist icon
NHS 111

You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. It's available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.  Please use the online option in the first instance whenever possible. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist/pharmacist. Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you

Ledbury Health Partnership - NHS 111 icon

You need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency

You think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service

You don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call

You need health information or reassurance about what to do next


GP's look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run specialist clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations. GP's also coordinate the care and take a holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of their patients.
Out of Hours services are available when your surgery is closed or at weekends and bank holidays. Remember this service is for urgent medical advice and treatment which cannot wait until your normal GP Surgery is open.


High or low temperature


Stomach ache

Ledbury Health Partnership - GP Surgery icon

If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU), rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait. As a rule MIUs tend to see people within an hour of arrival and all have on site parking available. The clinical team comprises of nurse practitioners experienced in the assessment and treatment of minor injuries. In cases where the patients presenting problem is beyond their scope of practice it may be necessary to make a referral to the GP service, main A & E, or other health care professional.

Ledbury Health Partnership - Minor injuries unit icon

Sprains and strains

Wound infections

Minor burns and scalds

Insect and animal bites

We can see patients over the age of 1 yr with:

An injury that has occurred within the past 7 days.

We cannot see patients that have pain with no injury cause or mechanism.

We cannot see patients with head injury who are on anti-coagulant drugs. (They require A&E and a head CT scan).

We cannot see patients who are ill.

We are using an appointment system where possible.

Hours of operation 07:45 to 18:30 every day.


A&E departments assess and treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for life threatening emergencies. If an ambulance is needed, call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the ambulance number throughout the European Union. Major A&E departments offer access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At A&E a doctor or nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action.

Loss of consciousness

Persistent, severe chest pain

Breathing difficulties

Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

Ledbury Health Partnership - Accident & Emergency icon

In reponse to the Coronovirus Pandemic, we have had to change the way we are operating.

find out more