Who is the most appropriate professional for your care?
Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your ailment. General Practice work in conjunction with other Primary Care providers such as Opticians and Pharmacists, who can deliver advice and treatment within the Community, so make sure you get to see the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
This may save you time in getting the help you need and avoid arranging an unnecessary appointment with your Doctor.
Have you tried self-care?
A range of common illnesses such as cold and flu and minor injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. Many patients attend with conditions that would get better with self-care. Studies show that 25-40% of consultations with a GP are unnecessary so it would help if patients only booked an appointment with a GP if they really need to.
Examples of ailments best treated yourself:
- Upset stomach
- Grazed knee
- Common cold
- Sore throat
- Colds & Flu
There is a wide variety of helpful Self Care information and resources which could help you to treat your illness without the need for an appointment:
Need a Sick or Fit note?
Emergency appointments cannot be used to obtain Sick or Fit note
A sick or fit note can be backdated, please discuss this when you see your GP, emergency or urgent appointments should not be used to request sick or fit notes.
Been in Hospital?
If you are off work due to a hospital admission, a sick note can be issued by the hospital to cover the period of time you were in the hospital. Once discharged, your GP can issue a sick note, based on your hospital discharge letter. If you think this is your situation, our Reception team will assist you.
If you have been sick for more than four days in a row, but less than seven, you can self–certify your illness using a SC2 form. You can obtain this form from your employer or by visiting the HMRC website. If you are unwell for more than four days you are advised to arrange an appointment to see a Doctor to assess your fitness to work.
How to count sick days
When you work out the number of days that you’ve been sick, you need to count all the days in a row you’ve been sick, including days you don’t normally work such as weekends and public holidays.
Self-Referral Services – No need to see a GP or Nurse you can refer yourself !
We have provided our patients with a list of services such as Physiotherapy, Sexual Health, etc that you can self-refer to without the need to see a GP or Nurse. You can normally self-refer by phone, attend a drop in clinic or by completing a self-referral form which you can send via email or post to the service of your choice.
Who do I see?
Who do I see?
Provides you with information and supporting links for treatments for some of the most common conditions, services, or most suitable healthcare professional that you should see. ‘Who do I see?’, will signpost you to the most appropriate help and care.
Get immediate help from your local pharmacy
Visit a pharmacy for healthcare advice without an appointment
Everyone can go to their pharmacist for advice or to buy a medicine for a minor illness or ailment. This is a NHS service. It means that if your pharmacist thinks you need it then they can give you a medicine on the NHS. It will also save you making an appointment with your GP simply to get a prescription.
A pharmacist can give confidential, expert advice and treatment for some common illnesses and complaints, without you seeing your GP or going to an emergency department.
They can help with:
- eye infections, stomach upsets, skin conditions, allergies, aches and pains
- common drugs, vitamins and minor first-aid
- healthy eating and living, including giving up smoking
- blood pressure and diabetes monitoring and needle exchange, truss fittings, stoma products and incontinence supplies
- women’s health, including treatment for thrush, emergency contraception and pregnancy testing
- children’s health, including nappy rash, teething, coughs and colds
- prescribed and over the counter medicines
Treat Yourself Better
We support the campaign to encourage people to self-treat minor ailments such as colds and flu. The Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics website is full of information to help people understand when how long they can expect their symptoms to last for, when they need to see a doctor and when they would be better off visiting their local pharmacist for advice.
No appointment is necessary and your local pharmacist is open late, is available at weekends and many public holidays.
Sexual Health Services
Sexual health Northern Ireland aimed at young people and adults, offers information and advice on how to look after your sexual health. It also highlights the services available where you can get more help and advice.
Looking after your sexual health
If you are sexually active, key ways to protect your sexual health include:
- always using a condom;
- using contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy;
- limiting your number of sexual partners;
- getting tested for sexually transmitted infections.
Find out more about how to look after your sexual health.
You can also obtain confidential and free advice and information to support you and your family from Family support NI
Call: 0345 122 8687
Need help with Social Care?
There are lots of services which offer help and support to improve your quality of life and allow you to continue to live in your own home. For example, if you are elderly or disabled, have a long-term health condition or are unwell. However, it can sometimes be confusing to try to work out what help is available and who offers what services.
For dental emergencies, call the dentist with whom you are registered. You should receive a recorded message advising you of the arrangements that have been made for emergency cover. If you have not registered with a dentist, please try to do so as soon as possible. Dentist’s can perform an appropriate assessment and advise on necessary intervention including use of any antibiotics.
Advice and information is available by calling a Dental Advice Helpline.
Dental emergencies are acute dental pain, facial or oral swelling, trauma or bleeding from the mouth.
Whatever your eye problem your first port of call should be an Optometrist. An Optometrist is the best person to assess urgent eye problems, check for eye disorders and treat eye conditions. They have the professional training and necessary equipment to assess most eye problems.
You can get free sight test if you are on income support /income based benefit or you are one of the below group:
- aged under 16, or aged under 19 and in full-time education
- aged 60 or over
- registered blind or partially sighted
- diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
- aged 40 or over and you are a parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a person diagnosed with glaucoma, or you have been advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma
- eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher
- People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.
Self-help guide: Eye problems
Find out more about your eye problems, when you can use self-care, and what to do if your condition worsens and you need medical help
If you sustain an eye injury that requires immediate emergency treatment go to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
Mental Health emergency
If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, it is a mental health emergency or mental health crisis. When this happens, you need to get help quickly.
If you’re having treatment or were treated for a mental illness, you should have a care plan. Your care plan has names and numbers to contact in an emergency.
If you don’t have a care plan, you should:
- make an emergency appointment with your GP or your GP out of hours service when the emergency is at night, weekend or a public holiday
- go to a hospital emergency department
- Out of hours service
Caring for someone who is having a mental health emergency
If you’re concerned about someone’s safety but can’t get them to an emergency department or keep them safe, you can telephone 999.
If you or someone you know needs help, and you would like to speak to someone by telephone, you can telephone Lifeline free in confidence, 24 hours a day:
To read more information about mental health, go to:
Mental health services for drug or alcohol problems
There are different mental health services available across Northern Ireland to deal specifically with drug and alcohol-related problems.
For information about statutory, voluntary and community mental health organisations, go to:
Call Samaritans free on 116 123
Need to speak with someone when the surgery is closed?
Out of hours service
The GP out of hours service is for people who need urgent medical treatment but cannot wait until their doctor’s practice is open. The service is for terminally ill people, very sick children and frail elderly people. The dental out of hours service only treats people with dental pain, swelling or bleeding. Please note that GP Out-of-Hours do not insert or remove stitches, and cannot do blood tests or x rays.
When the surgery is closed North Down & Ards doctors on Call Service is operational.
A message giving their contact details will be on the normal surgery number or they may be contacted directly on 028 91822344.
Please remember this service should be reserved for emergencies only. Should you see a doctor out of hours you own doctor’s surgery will be notified.
Please remember to collect any repeat prescriptions from your daytime GP practice before the weekend or a public holiday. GP Out-of-Hours will only provide repeat prescriptions in exceptional circumstances.
If you have an emergency please call 999.
Medical emergencies can include:
- loss of consciousness
- an acute confused state
- fits that aren’t stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Mental Health Crisis?
You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.
It’s important to use A&E only for serious injuries and major emergencies.
Get immediate help for Minor Injuries
Use your local Minor Injuries Unit if you need medical treatment or advice which does not require a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.
Some examples of problems they deal with:
Types of injuries treated can include:
Arrange an appointment with our Practice Nurse
The Practice Nurse is usually able to assess the situation and in some cases will organise initial blood tests and other investigations prior to arranging a follow up appointment with your Doctor.
The Practice Nurse complements the service that we offer to you, our patients. Please be assured that a Doctor’s appointment will always be available should you prefer, but you may get an earlier appointment if you opt to consult with our Practice Nurse.
See a Nurse about: blood pressure checks, urine infection, cervical smears, dressings, family planning advice, contraceptives, immunisations, diabetes management, asthma care, COPD, heart care, smoking cessation, free health checks for 40-70 year olds, travel health advice, removal of stitches and clips etc.
Need medical advice or treatment from one of our Doctors?
Some patients, often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an appointment with a doctor.