Feeling Unwell

Which NHS service is right for me?

There’s a really good range of health services available to people in Hertfordshire. Using the right service is important because it means you speak to or are seen by the best people to advise or treat you. Using the right services is important for the NHS as it helps us make sure that resources are used in the most effective way.

Look after yourself

Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. For conditions like sunburn, hay fever, coughs and colds, it is best to look after yourself to begin with seeking help if your condition doesn't improve.


You can ask your pharmacist for advice on how to treat many common health problems like minor injuries, aches, pains, cystitis, colds, indigestion and skin rashes. There are more than 230 pharmacies across Hertfordshire and several are open long hours, 7 days a week. Click here to see where they are in west Herts.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can talk to the pharmacist in confidence. Make your local pharmacy your first port of call for minor illnesses. Find your local pharmacy on NHS Choices

NHS 111

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

GP services

If you have an illness that just won't go away make an appointment to see your GP or practice nurse or speak to them on the phone. Many GPs offer early morning, late evening or Saturday morning appointments for those people who find it difficult to get to their GP during usual opening hours. Ask your practice manager for details or visit www.nhs.uk.

If you need GP assistance in the evening or at weekends please call NHS 111.

Minor Injuries Units

Minor injuries units can treat injuries like sprains, cuts, grazes, bites, stings, burns and scalds. They can treat children aged 2+.

Urgent Care Centres

Urgent Care Centres treat most injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening. This includes sprains, strains, fractures, wounds, burns, scalds, minor head injuries, bites, stings, cuts and grazes.


A&E is for life-threatening situations such as a heart attack or stroke and for the care of people who show the symptoms of serious illness or who are badly injured. In an emergency dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Visit www.nhs.uk for full details of all your local NHS services

Stay well this winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 and over, and people with long-term health conditions. Cold weather doesn't have to go hand in hand with illness. Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.

Keep warm – this may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day. Get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

More winter health advice here.