Guide to NHS Services Outside of GP Opening Times
Local residents are being urged to use NHS services wisely and ensure they choose the right service for their illness or injury.
NHS 111 can help residents if they need medical help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, NHS 111 connects patients to a team of fully trained call advisers who are supported by experienced nurses, paramedics, and GPs.
They will ask questions to assess the symptoms, and give healthcare advice or direct the caller to a local NHS service. If necessary, they can also call an ambulance or direct people straight to A&E. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone.
- GP out-of-hours service (OOH)
You can access the GP out-of-hours service by calling NHS 111. The NHS 111 team will assess your condition over the phone and if they think you need to be seen by a health professional, they will refer you to the OOH GP service.
Many minor illnesses can be treated at home with basic medicines that are available from your local pharmacy. Stocking up on essential medicines can help you avoid a trip to the GP or even A&E. Medicine cabinet essentials include:
- painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen
- anti-diarrhoea tablets and rehydration powders
- indigestion treatment
- bandages and plasters
- antiseptic cream or spray
- first aid kit
Local pharmacies can offer expert advice and treatment for a wide range of common conditions and minor injuries.
Pharmacies can help with a range of things including aches and pains, hangovers, colds, emergency contraception, and non-prescription medication.
- Minor Illness and Injury Units
There are a number of Minor Illness and Injury Units (MIIU) across the county that can treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. No appointment is required.
Monday – Sunday: 8am-8pm
Monday – Friday: 8.30am-6pm
Monday – Friday: 8.30am-6pm
North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech
Monday -Friday – 8.30-6pm
- Mental Health – 111 option 2
There is a First Response Service (FRS) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which gives those in mental health crisis the opportunity to get access to help quickly, by calling NHS 111 and selecting option 2*.
The new service allows patients or carers to speak to specially-trained mental health staff who can provide advice, support, and signposting to other services. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Click HERE for further information. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone.
*Patients registered with practices in Wisbech can access the service via dialling 111. The call handler will then transfer them direct to the FRS service.
- Dental emergency and out-of-hours care
If you think you need urgent care, contact your usual dentist as some practices offer emergency dental slots and will provide care if clinically necessary. You can also call NHS 111, who can put you in touch with an urgent dental service.
Shingles Immunisation for 2019
Who can have a free shingles vaccination?
You are eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70, 78 or 79 years old.
In addition, anyone who was eligible for immunisation in the previous three years of the programme but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday. This includes:
- people in their 70s who were born after 1 September 1942
- people aged 79 years (until their 80th birthday)
Any individual who reaches their 80th birthday is no longer eligible for the vaccination due to the reducing efficacy of the vaccine as age increases. This reflects the recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for the shingles immunisation programme
This is a one off vaccination and reduces the chances of developing shingles, and even if you do develop shingles then the disease is likely to affect you less severely.
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus and lies dormat after infection as a child. Later in life it can reactivate and cause shingles. why this happens is not completley known, but reaching an older age makes the virus much more likely to reactivate. Shingles and its complications can be difficult to manage. The treatment options vary from person to person depending on the area affected by the shingles. It is important to see your GP as soon as possible after the rash occurs, as some treatments work best when given early. Shingles can not be caught from someone with chickenpox, however, it is possible to catch chickenpox from someone with shingles.