Where to Go When You Feel Ill

We can all feel unwell, especially in the winter months. So it’s important you know the right place to get help.

Remember: Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments are for serious injuries or illnesses only.

If you are looking for immediate advice, the NHS inform website has self-help guide that can advise you on the best course of action.


A picture of a woman blowing her nose

If you’re just feeling more under the weather than usual, remember you can usually treat minor illnesses yourself at home. This could include a cough & cold, sore throat or headache. 


A picture of a woman talking to a pharmacist in a pharmacy

Visit your local pharmacy to buy over-the-counter medicines to help treat your minor illnesses, or to get expert healthcare advice from a pharmacist. 

You can find treatments for coughs and colds, indigestion, constipation and hayfever & more at a pharmacy, if you are unsure what treatment would work best you can always talk to your pharmacist.


A picture of a woman sitting in a dentists  chair

It’s important to take care of your oral hygiene, and while you can maintain it from home it’s also important to receive regular check ups with your dentist.

Remember everyone in Scotland aged 25 and under gets free NHS dental treatment.

Turn to your dentist for regular check ups, planned routine treatment and emergency care. Find out how to register with a dentist


A picture of a woman getting her eyes tested by an optician

For eye problems including blurred vision, difficulty seeing well or discomfort in your eyes, see your optician for advice. Find out how to book an eye appointment

You can also check out the NHS self-help guide for eye problem for more immediate advice.


A picture of man speaking to a doctor

If your illness or injury is more serious, or your symptoms are persistent, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see your GP. They can carry out examinations, provide advice or issue a prescription for medication if needed. 

It is important to keep your appointment, or to cancel it if you no longer need to attend. If you don’t already have a GP, find out how to register

NHS out-of-hours service

A picture of the arm of someone who is having their blood pressure tested

For advice when your GP or dental surgery is not open, call NHS24 on 111. This is how you get advice or an appointment with a doctor when your surgery is closed.

Minor Injuries Service 

A picture of an arm with a painful looking burn on it

Turn to a minor injuries service if you require urgent care for a minor injury such as: cuts, minor burns, sprains. Find out where your nearest minor injury service is on the NHS Inform website


A picture of a hospital's A&E sign

Only call 999 or head to your local A&E department for serious illness or accidents, such as suspected stroke, heart attack, head injury or broken bones.

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