How to access healthcare services near you
If you are injured or ill the NHS provides a range of services to help you.
- Is A&E right for me?
- NHS 111
You can get better, faster treatment by choosing the NHS service that can best treat your symptoms. This also helps the NHS by reducing the pressure on services like A&E so they are available to help people most in need.
Accident and emergency (A&E) departments are open 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year and are for life threatening emergencies and serious injuries only. Please use the service carefully so it can best support those who need it most – like people with severe chest pains, serious head injuries, loss of consciousness or breathing difficulties.
When you need medical help fast but it is not an emergency, call the NHS free phone number 111. The 111 service operates 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.
Calls to 111 will be assessed, advice given and, if needed, patients will be directed to the most appropriate local health services. Calls to 111 are free wherever you call from.
Call 111 if:
- you need an NHS urgent care service
- you don’t know who to call for medical help
- you need information about a health issue.
If it is an emergency and someone needs help to save their life, call 999.
Local urgent care centres, minor injury units and walk-in centres provide fast medical treatment and advice for patients with injuries which are urgent but do not need a visit to A&E. They can also be used when you can’t wait for an appointment with your GP.
These centres treat injuries and illnesses such as cuts, sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. You don’t need to book an appointment – just turn up and you will be seen promptly by a doctor or nurse. To find your nearest urgent treatment centre, minor injury unit or walk-in centre, go to www.nhs.uk.
If you are in east Kent, the WaitLess app combines current waiting times at all urgent care centres – drawn from the official NHS system – with up-to-the-minute travel information, helping you to decide which urgent care centre to head to for faster treatment for minor injuries.
Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away, including persistent vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache. Registering is free and means you can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.
For help finding your nearest GP, use the online search on www.nhs.uk or phone 0300 311 22 33.
Additional appointments are available in the evening and at weekends. To book one of these appointments you should contact your normal GP practice. However, these appointments will not necessarily be at your usual GP practice, but the health professionals treating you will be able to see your full medical record, with your consent.
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice about over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common conditions such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, a painful cough or a headache - without the need for an appointment.
As well as dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists provide a range of services related to specific health issues and can advise on minor ailments such as colds, skin conditions and allergies.
Other services include emergency contraception and continence supplies. For help finding your nearest pharmacist, go to www.nhs.uk or phone 0300 311 22 33.
You should be registered with a dental practice and have regular check-ups. Your dentist can also help with toothache, gum problems, wisdom teeth, bleeding from the gums and most other mouth related health problems. Go to www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist to find your nearest practice.
If you need urgent treatment, please contact your usual dental practice, as they may be able to see you or direct you to an urgent dental care service. You can also phone NHS 111 which can put you in touch with an urgent dental service. Do not contact a GP, as they will not be able to offer urgent or emergency dental care.
POD is an NHS service patients use to order their repeat prescriptions via phone or a smartphone app.
The service allows prescriptions to be reviewed to help avoid medicines waste and reduce the pressure on GP surgeries by taking some of their workload away. If your surgery has signed up, you will need to order your medicine via POD rather than through your pharmacy or GP practice.
If your prescription is not at your nominated pharmacy after four working days, or you have other queries about your prescription order, please phone the service on 0300 131 1100 or email email@example.com.
This service is for repeat prescriptions only, new prescription requests cannot be sent to this email address. New requests will be referred back to the phone line or app.
By phone: When you have ten days or fewer of your regular, repeat medicine left, you can place an order for your next supply. You can order by phone: 0300 131 1100, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (closed 1.30 to 2pm for lunch and on bank holidays). Calls are charged at a local rate.
Using the Healthera app:
- Your order will be reviewed by a member of the POD Team. They will check the medicine is due and it is safe to issue a prescription. If you are ordering by phone, the team member will let you know whether your prescription can be ordered. If you are ordering on the Healthera app, you will get a notification to let you know whether your request has been approved or declined.
- If your request for medicine is approved, an electronic prescription will be generated. This is sent to the GP to sign and then sent directly to your chosen pharmacy. You do not need to collect a paper prescription from the surgery.
- If you have placed your order over the phone, please wait four working days before visiting your pharmacy to collect your medicines. This gives the GP time to sign the prescription and the pharmacy time to dispense your medicine. If you have placed your order via the Healthera app, please wait until the status of your order is ‘approved’ and then allow four working days before visiting the pharmacy. If your order is not at the pharmacy after four days, please contact POD.
If you are a patient at one of the surgeries below and you have been prescribed a regular, repeat medicine you will now need to use the POD service when you need to reorder your medicine.
If you would like a friend or relative to order your medicines for you, you will need to contact either the POD via the phone number above or call your GP surgery to inform us that this person has your permission to act on your behalf to order your medicines for you. This will be noted on your medical record and this person will be able to order medicines for you until you inform us otherwise.
You are able to place an order for your medicine when you have a ten day or less supply of your medicines left. This allows time for your prescription to be processed and dispensed at your chosen pharmacy. Please note that prescription requests for controlled drugs, benzodiazepines, opiods, zopiclone and zolpidem are strictly monitored and will not be issued early.
- The Shrubbery Surgery (65a Perry Street, Northfleet DA11 8RD) and Riverview Surgery (1 Whinfell Way, Gravesend DA12 4RX)
- The Cedars Surgery (26 Swanley Centre, Swanley BR8 7AH)
- The Oaks Surgery (Nightingale Way, Swanley BR8 7UP)
- Springhead Health (Vale Road, Northfleet DA11 8BZ)
- The Temple Hill Group: Temple Hill Surgery (Dartford DA1 5ND), Ivy Bower Surgery (Greenhithe DA9 9NF) and West Kingsdown Medical Centre (TN15 6EJ)
- Pilgrims Way Surgery (Dartford East Health Centre DA1 1QY)
- Devon Road Surgery (32 Devon Road, South Darenth DA4 9AB)
- Dartford West Health Centre (Tower Road DA1 2HA)
- Downs Way Medical Practice (Summerhouse Surgery, Beaconsfield Road, Bexley DA5 2AE)
- Pelham Medical Practice (116 St Gregory’s Crescent DA12 4JW) and St Gregory’s Medical Practice (116 St Gregory’s Crescent DA12 4JW)
- Lower Higham Road Surgery (48 Lower Higham Road, Gravesend DA12 2NG)
- Swanscombe Health Centre (Southfleet Road, Swanscombe DA10 0BF)
- Jubilee Medical Centre: Kent House Surgery (36 Station Road, Longfield DA37QD) and New Ash Green Surgery (Longfield DA3 8RG)
- Dartford East Health Centre (Dr Shimmins) (Pilgrims Way DA1 1QY)
- The Orchard Practice (Tower Road DA1 2HA)
- Clanricarde Medical Centre (Abbey Court, 7-15 St Johns Rd, TN4 9TF) and Rowan Tree (Rowan Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5PX)
- Kingswood Surgery (Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4UH)
- Lonsdale Medical Centre (1 Clanricarde Gardens, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1PE)
- St Andrews Medical Centre (St Andrews Court, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells TN4 0LZ)
- Wateringbury Surgery (14 Pelican Court, Wateringbury, Maidstone ME18 5SS)
- Waterfield House Surgery (186 Henwood Green Road, Pembury TN2 4LR)
Swanscombe and Bean Partnership: Swanscombe Health Centre (Southfleet Road, Swanscombe DA10 0BF), Bean Village Surgery (High Street, Bean DA2 8BS), Greenhithe Surgery (32 London Road, Greenhithe DA9 9EJ), Lamorna Surgery (Thomas Drive, Gravesend DA12 5PY), Elmdene Surgery (273 London Road, Greenhithe DA9 9DB), Bennett Surgery (Bennett Way, Darenth, Dartford DA2 7JT)