We aim to ensure health services are available for you when you become ill, but we also want to help you to help yourself.
There is a range of free health services on your doorstep. Choosing the right one will ensure you receive the best possible treatment, allowing busy services like hospital Emergency Departments (A&E) to concentrate on helping those most in need.
To help you find the right NHS service download our Choose Well leaflet
Self care is about looking after your own health and making the right choices about where to go for help and advice when you need it. Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home - talk to your pharmacist about remedies.
Keep a well stocked medical cabinet. This could include:pain killers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedies, cold and flu remedies, first aid kit with bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and cream, eyewash, medical tape, sterile dressing and thermometer. Find more advice about what to keep in your medicine cabinet on The NHS website
The NHS website
If you’re feeling unwell or have a minor injury you can get expert help online on the NHS website. This is the UK's biggest health website offering a wealth of health information and services to put you in control of your healthcare www.nhs.uk.
Try the NHS Health A-Z or Symptom Checker
You can phone NHS 111 if you don't know who to call for medical help, if you don't have a GP to call, or if you need medical advice or reassurance about what to do next. In a serious or life threatening situation call 999.
Calls to NHS 111 are free, although mobile users will require a minimum of 1p credit. If you would benefit from the assistance of a BSL/English interpreter, you can use the free NHS 111 BSL service. Click here for more information.
NHS England has created a short video providing help for people with learning disabilities, autism or both. Click here to see more information or to watch the video.
You can visit your local pharmacy where fully trained health professionals will provide on-the-spot confidential advice. You don't need an appointment and they can advise on the best medicines for many common illnesses. Find out more about how your pharmacy can help
To find your nearest pharmacy use the 'Find Services' box at the foot of this page, visit www.nhs.uk or call NHS 111.
You can make an appointment with your GP for illnesses and injuries which aren't life-threatening, but which won't go away.
GPs provide medical advice, examinations and prescriptions, and you can speak to your GP or practice nurse over the phone. GP surgeries are generally open 8.00am - 6.30pm weekdays. If you need a GP outside of these hours call NHS 111
Your GP surgery can now offer appointments in the early evening and weekends. Find out more about evening and weekend appointments on this website, or ask your practice receptionists for details.
If you have dental pain or toothache and your dental surgery is closed, call NHS 111. If you are not registered with a dentist, you can call NHS 111 to find your nearest dental practice taking on NHS patients.
If you, or someone you know, needs mental health support and guidance you can contact the following:
- Samaritans provide confidential emotional support if you are anxious, depressed or suicidal. Call the 24-hour helpline 08457 90 90 90
- MIND Infoline offers advice and support information. Lines are open 9.00am - 6.00pm Mon - Fri except bank holidays. Call 0300 123 3393
- Saneline offers emotional support for people in mental distress. They are open between 6.00pm - 11.00pm everyday.Call 0300 304 7000
- MindLine Somerset is a confidential listening services providing a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is in distress. - Open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 8.00pm and 11.00pm. Call 01823 276 892
- MindLine Trans+ provide confidential emotional,mental health support helpline and signposting service for people who identify as Trans, A Gender, Gender Fluid, Non-binary. Lines are open Mondays and Fridays between 8.00pm and midnight. Call 0300 330 5468
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of services across the county to support people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Visit their website for more information: www.sompar.nhs.uk/help-in-a-crisis/mental-health-crisis/
If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm - either to yourself or someone else - then phone 999.
Hospital Minor Injury Unit (MIU)
If you need to see someone straight away for a minor injury visit your local minor injury unit.
In Somerset, there are Minor Injury Units at community hospitals in Bridgwater, Burnham on Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead and Shepton Mallet.
A&E Emergency Department
A&E Emergency Departments are for life threatening illnesses and injuries only. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dialling 999 or going to A&E if you don't need to could delay treatment for someone more seriously ill than you are.
If you have a life threatening illness or injury, there are A&E Emergency Departments at: