Important things to know:
Where to get advice about ‘minor ailments’.
A lot of minor ailments can be dealt with by patients themselves or with the help of NHS Direct (phone 0845 4647) or a chemist.
Women aged 25 years and younger can obtain free emergency contraception (often called ‘morning after pill’ but still effective after 24 hours and longer) from a number of local chemists.
Doctors from the centre will visit patients at home if medically necessary. This is usually the case where patients are too ill to leave the house or generally unable to get into a car. Otherwise the centre is the best place to see patients who are unwell. Patients requesting help from the centre have to organise transport themselves – problems in organising this are not a reason to request a home visit.
Local patients without a GP:
The emergency centre is not a substitute for a regular GP where patients are not registered with a GP. Patients looking for a GP need to phone the North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus (01472 625300) and enquire about surgeries accepting new patients.
GPs are not trained to deal with dental problems (pain, swelling around the teeth) - this includes prescribing for infections around the teeth and also problems that arise after treatment by a dentist. GPs also cannot help with access to dentists. If a dentist thinks a GP can help with a mouth condition the dentist will say so AFTER examining a patient. Patients registered with a dentist will be given an emergency phone number by their dentist. Patients who are not registered need to phone the dental emergency service (phone 0845 1200085). Patients looking for a dentist to register need to phone 01472 625220.
Advice about ongoing treatment:
Unless a known medical problem gets worse it is not the purpose of the emergency centre to give a second opinion where patients are already receiving treatment by their GP.
Injuries and life threatening emergencies:
Although GPs can deal with a wide number of health problems and medical emergencies themselves and would not encourage their patient to attend the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) certain problems are best dealt with in A&E:
- Injuries and bleeding
- Sudden chest pain
- Sudden shortness of breath