Choosing the right service

Feeling unwell? Don’t know where to go?


Consider the range of services available to you in East Berkshire and use the NHS responsibly.

Using the most appropriate health service helps the NHS to work at its best and be there for those who really need it.

If you are feeling unwell or have had an injury it is important to choose the right service for your needs.


There are lots of options for you to receive treatment including out of hours. If you are unsure who is best placed to help you or where you should go, call 111 or visit 111 online where you will be able to get the advice you need.

Self Care

You can treat most common ailments and illnesses at home with plenty of rest and over the counter medicine. 

Be prepared to care for yourself with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.


• Grazed knee

• Sore throat

• Hangover

• Cough

• Sunburn

• Cold

• Upset Stomach


Pharmacists are trained professionals who use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients. They can offer advice on medicines and how to take them, they can also offer advice on common complaints. You don’t need to book an appointment, many are open late and have private consultation rooms should you wish to speak in private.

Your pharmacist can help you with the following:


• Emergency contraception

• Truss fittings

• Incontinence supplies

• Needle exchange and supervised drug administration

• Pregnancy testing

• Stop smoking services

• Queries about medication dosage

• Chlamydia screening and treatment

• Weight management


They can also give you sound and confidential advice on:


• Bugs and viruses

• Minor injuries

• Tummy troubles

• Women’s health

• Skin conditions

• Allergies

• Aches and pains


Average cost to NHS of being seen – £15

NHS 111

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to allow you to access the care you need, any time, any day.

On dialling 111, callers are put through to a team of highly trained advisers where they will receive a clinical assessment and be directed to the local service that can help them the best at that time. This could be an out of hours primary care doctor, walk in centre or A&E if required.

Call if any of the below applies:

• If you think you need to go to hospital
• If you don’t know the most suitable place to go
• If you don’t have a GP to call or if your GP practice is closed
• If you need advice or reassurance about what to do









Visit us online or call when a situation is urgent but is not life threatening.


Average cost to NHS of a call £16


GPs deal with a whole range of family health care, including advice on health problems, run clinics, vaccinations, prescriptions, referrals to other health services and carry out simple surgical procedures.

GP surgeries usually have a team of doctors and nurses including health visitors and midwives. You must be registered with a GP surgery of your choice in order to use the services available.

All GPs have an out of hours service for when they are closed, this is for urgent medical problems that cannot wait until normal surgery opening hours.


Your GP surgery can be used to treat the following:


• Vomiting

• Ear ache

• Back pain

• Persistent illnesses

• Symptoms that are not going away


Average cost to NHS of being seen £36

Urgent Care or Walk in Centre

Urgent Care Centres are staffed by doctors and nurses that are able to treat most urgent but non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Urgent care centres are a real alternative to A&E- you do not need an appointment and can just turn up. You will be treated in order or arrival unless a more urgent case arrives which will be prioritised.

Treatment covers:

• Strains and sprains or suspected broken bones

• Minor head injuries

• Cuts

• Minor scalds and burns

• Bites and stings

• Fever, vomiting and diarrhoea

• Rashes


Average cost to NHS of being seen £37


Accident and emergency departments deal with genuine life-threatening emergencies only.

If you or someone you know are seriously ill or you have a life-threatening injury you should either go to A&E or dial 999 for an ambulance.


Treatment covers:

• Loss of consciousness

• Chest pain

• Breathing difficulties

• Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

• Severe allergic reaction

• Stroke

• Severe burns or scalds

• Major trauma


Average cost to NHS of being seen £111

Average cost to NHS of an ambulance £235