Choosing the right service
To find out how to access the right service, watch our 'Play Your Care Right' show.
Its really important that (when you need some help from a health service), that you access the correct service for your current needs. Accessing the correct service will usually mean that you will be seen quicker and by the health care person who is best able to help you. Here are some easy questions to ask yourself so that you can access the best health service for your needs:
1. Can you treat your illness yourself?
Coughs, colds and other minor illnesses will generally get better on their own. Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet so that if you feel ill, you can try treating it yourself.
2. If you can't treat your illness yourself, can your local pharmacist help?
Your pharmacist can advise you on a range of minor illnesses and ailments, and it's quicker and easier to pop into your local pharmacist, than it is making an appointment to see a doctor.
3. If you can't treat your illness yourself, make an appointment with your GP
Get to know your local practice and find out the best way to book an appointment. Most practices in Wolverhampton offer online booking which can be quicker. Practice nurses are also able to treat and advise on many conditions
and will often be able to see you more quickly.
4. Not sure what to do? Think you need to see/speak to someone urgently, but its not life threatening? Call NHS 111
If you need immediate medical help for physical or mental issues, but it's not a life threatening emergency, NHS 111 can help. You'll speak to a highly trained call adviser who will assess your condition and, if necessary transfer you
to a clinician for a second opinion. They can give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the local service that can help you best.
5. If its a real medical emergency, such as choking, severe blood loss, or the patient is unconscious, please call 999
How to look after yourself - self care
All the information you need about staying fit and healthy can be found on NHS Choices, the UK’s biggest health website and 'front door' to the NHS. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.
The website helps you make choices about your health, from decisions about your lifestyle, such as smoking, drinking and exercise, to finding and using NHS services in England.
NHS Choices includes more than 20,000 regularly updated articles. There are also hundreds of thousands of entries in more than 50 directories that you can use to find, choose and compare health services in England.
The site draws together the knowledge and expertise of:
- NHS Evidence, formerly the National Library for Health
- the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)
- the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- many other health and social care organisations
Along with articles and reports, the site offers hundreds of videos, interactive tools and listings that allow you to compare services, such as hospitals, GPs, care homes or dentists. You can also rate and comment on any service.
The site lets you create your own private user account and you can have content personalised for you on the NHS Choices homepage.
An automated translation system allows most content to be displayed in more than 50 languages.