There are other services you can use as well as or instead of a GP practice if you are unwell or have an injury. It is important to make the right choice to make sure you get the right care, and also to make sure other people can get appointments if they need them.
The national NHS website has lots of useful information on using health services in England and on health conditions. It includes information on healthy eating, mental health, children’s health and more.
Health in Leeds
Health in Leeds is a website that can help you choose the right type of health care for your needs and tells you where you need to go. It is available in 4 languages: Czech, Romanian, Polish and Lithuanian and includes lots of helpful videos.
111 is a free telephone number you can call if you have concerns about an illness or injury that is not serious or life-threatening. It is run by trained advisers and is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can get advice about finding the right service, including out of hours doctor’s appointments at the evening or weekend and emergency dentists. You can ask for an interpreter when you call.
Find out more about 111, including information in different languages.
You can find out more about 111, including translated leaflets in different languages on the NHS website:
The pharmacy is where you take your prescription if you have been given one by the GP or nurse. They will usually tell you to wait 10 – 20 minutes while they find the medicine. Sometimes they will tell you to collect it on another day. You will have to fill out part of the prescription form to tell them whether you have to pay or you can get the medicine for free. You can find out more about whether you have to pay for medications or you can get them for free here.
Pharmacists also sell ‘over the counter’ medication which you can buy without a prescription, for example painkillers like paracetamol, or cold remedies.
They are also qualified to give you expert advice on common health conditions, such as treating colds, coughs, vomiting and diarrhoea, cuts and bruises. Using a pharmacy first could mean you do not need to see a GP, because you can treat the problem at home. Many pharmacies are open late and over the weekend.
Find your local pharmacy on the NHS website:
You can see a dentist for regular check up on your teeth but also if you have any problems. You do not need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP. You can contact any that are convenient for you and phone them to see if there are appointments available.
You can find an NHS dentist near you on the NHS website:
In England, you are required to pay for NHS dentist treatment, unless you are entitled to free treatment. You can get free dental treatment if you are:
- Aged under 16, or under 19 and in full time education
- Pregnant or have a baby under 12 months old
- Receiving certain welfare benefits
Find out more about charges for NHS dental treatment and who can get free treatment on the NHS website:
Not all dentists are always able to take on new NHS patients, so you may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist, or you can choose to use a private dentist, where the costs for treatment will be a bit higher.
The NHS recommends that you should get your eyes tested every two years. The opticians can carry out eye tests, check the health of your eyes and can sell you glasses and contact lenses. The quickest and easiest way to find an optician is using Google Maps.
In England, everyone is required to pay for optician treatment, unless you are entitled to NHS funded-treatment which means you can get free eye tests and vouchers towards the cost of glasses.
Find out more about if you can get free eye tests and vouchers on the NHS website:
Minor Injuries Units
You can use Minor Injuries Units instead of A&E to treat less serious injuries and illnesses such as sprains, broken bones, minor burns, minor head and eye injuries. There are Minor Injuries Units at:
Otley (North Leeds)
Wharfedale Hospital, Newall Carr Road, Otley, LS21 2LY
Middleton (South Leeds)
St. George’s Centre, St. George’s Road, Middleton, Leeds, LS10 4UZ
Both are open 8am – 11pm. You don’t need an appointment but it is a good idea to phone first because opening hours can sometimes change. Find out more about Minor Injury Units on the NHS Choices website:
You can use the walk-in centre if you need an urgent medical appointment on the sameday and you cannot get one at your own GP practice. Staff can treat minor illnesses, cuts and grazes, minor scalds and burns, bites, ear and throat infections and other common health problems.
Shakespeare Medical Centre, Burmantofts Health Centre, Cromwell Mt, Leeds LS9 7TA in Burmantofts, East Leeds (LS9) is open 8am – 8pm every day (including all bank holidays) and you don’t need to be registered or have an appointment.
What to do in an emergency
Accident and Emergency (A&E) Units are for treating people with very serious and life threatening illnesses or injuries. This includes chest pain or heavy bleeding that won’t stop, losing consciousness, difficulty breathing, or a severe allergic reaction or burn. There are two Accident and Emergency (A&E) Units in Leeds:
St James Hospital, Beckett St, Leeds LS9 7TF (over 16s only)
Leeds General Infirmary, Great George St, Leeds LS1 3EX. The Children’s A&E Unit for under 16s is also there.
If you need an ambulance to take someone to A&E, you can call 999 for free.
It is really important that Accident and Emergency and ambulances are only used in a real emergency so that the most seriously ill or injured patients can be treated quickly.