Unsure which local health service to use?
If you have a cough or cold, hangover, graze or an upset stomach you can treat the symptoms at home – in fact, staying at home and getting plenty of rest is the best place for you.
Health help Now App
The ‘Health help Now app’, provides access to health advice and signposts relevant local health and care services. Residents in Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford can visit the Health Help Now website or download Health Help Now from the App Store or Google Play.
If you are feeling unwell and need to relieve your symptoms, your local pharmacist is on hand to help. Many over-the-counter medicines are available to help with common ailments such as colds, sore throats, coughs, sinusitis or earache. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend the best treatments that are available without needing a prescription.
There are a range of systems in place to ensure that you have access to support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes calling the NHS 111 non-emergency service, which provides access to trained advisors, supported by healthcare professionals. When calling 111 you will be offered medical advice and directed to appropriate healthcare pathways.
Your GP surgery
GP surgeries do provide consultations on the day for emergency patients, often triaged by a Nurse Practitioner or GP. Routine appointments may be offered the same week and most surgeries book for future appointments up to six weeks in advance. All surgeries operate a different appointment system and we would recommend you speak with the reception team and they will be able to advise you. GP surgeries are also under pressure so it may be that a non-urgent appointment may be a little longer wait, up to two to three weeks in some cases.
Evening and weekend GP services
For those who do need to see a doctor, but cannot do so during normal opening hours, additional pre-booked appointments are available as part of the west Essex Evening and Weekend GP service. This operates at six different locations and can be booked by staff in your own GP practice. An appointment will then be scheduled at a local hub and you will be given a suitable date, time and location for your Evening or Weekend appointment. For more information and advice visit the Herts Urgent Care website which has patient leaflets available to download.
Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments assess and treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for life-threatening emergencies, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- Persistent, severe chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
If an ambulance is needed, call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK.