different health services

Different Health Services: How Do I Know Which One To Use?


When you need help dealing with a non-emergency injury, illness or mental health issue, you may automatically assume that your only option is to book a GP appointment. However, there are many different health services in your local area which may be able to provide more specific and personalised care for the issue you are dealing with.

Before you make plans to see your GP, you may wish to consider going to your local pharmacist first. Remember that pharmacists are fully trained health professionals who can assist patients with much more than just prescriptions. They are able to offer a wide range of different health services which may save you a visit to the doctors.

If a pharmacy isn’t right for you, there are still plenty of other options available. Here are some of the many services around the East Berkshire area which could be helpful alternatives to booking a GP appointment.


Different Health Services – What’s Available?


Minor Injuries

Urgent Care Centres

If you are suffering from a minor injury which is not urgent enough to warrant a trip to A&E but you cannot wait for the next available GP appointment, you may wish to consider visiting an Urgent Care Centre. Appointments can be made for a UCC by calling 111 within 48 hours of the injury occurring. St Mark’s Hospital in Maidenhead operates one of these centres.


Minor Injury Units

Minor Injury Units operate outside of GP practice hours and require no prior appointment. These walk-in centres are usually run by nurses and deal with ailments such as sprains, strains, burns, minor wounds and insect bites. You can find more information about this service, as well as your nearest unit, by visiting this page.


Services for Older People

Care Homes

Many older people feel safer and more comfortable living in a residential care home than on their own. Here they can have their needs provided for them, including meals, hygiene and around the clock medical care. If you feel that you or an elderly relative would be best off in a care home, then you can contact Adult Social Care to discuss the available options. Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements with a residential home such as Oxford House or Forget Me Not which serve catchment areas covering Burnham, Slough, Windsor and High Wycombe.


Help With Dementia

There are many different health services which provide care and support to people suffering with dementia as well as their carers and family members. If you would like help with dealing with dementia, legal and money matters, getting a break from caring or anything else, get in touch with the Bracknell Dementia Advisory Service. Other forms of support in Berkshire include the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK.



Home carers provide help in all aspects of daily life. Many older people who live with mobility problems or frailty and seek a different health service from residential care benefit from home carers. The Rapid Assessment Community Clinic can help elderly patients based in Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough, Ascot and Bracknell to find the most appropriate type of home help.


Services for the Disabled

Help at Home

Many disabled people and parents with disabled children could use support with everyday tasks. If you could use help with chores such as preparing meals, bathing, dressing or shopping then you may want to consider local organisations which provide help at home. Right at Home focuses on each patients’ specific caregiving needs. Golden Rose Community Care LTD cares for adults with physical or learning disabilities in and around Slough.


Short Breaks

Some disabled people and their families are fully equipped to deal with daily tasks but require different types of health and help services. Groups in the Berkshire area organise short breaks and activities for children and adults with complex needs who require special care. Larchwood Short Break Unit in Bracknell is a popular option for many families.



Children’s Centres

Parents with young children have access to a wide range of support in Berkshire. Children’s Centres host activities for under-5s as well as professional help for parents seeking advice on any number of matters. Two such sites are The Oaks and Hollies and Vicarage Way Children’s Centre in Colnbrook.


Family Information Service

The Family Information Service gives parents free and unbiased information relating to childcare. This service is aimed at parents of children up to the age of 20 who need advice on any of the many different health services and social care available.


Special Education Childcare

Raising a child with challenging behaviour or learning disabilities can be difficult for families. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation and Independent Parental Special Education Advice both provide families with support, access to workshops and events, legal advice and information about different health services.

This is just a few of the many types of health services you are entitled access to in your local area. If you still haven’t seen a service that is right for you and would like to explore other options, take a look at this extensive list of services in your community.