Local services

Get the right treatment when you need it

NHS services are very busy at the moment. It's important to come forward with any health concerns but you can help ease the pressure by choosing the right service. 

Knowing the right place to go can help you get the treatment you need faster. Please choose wisely and help us help you.

Ambulance services and A&E departments are very busy and need to prioritise life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Please consider an alternative to A&E if your condition is less serious.

Urgent treatment centres (UTCs) and minor injury units (MIUs) are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend emergency departments for, including sprains, minor burns and minor illness, and are open either 24 hours-a-day or 8am to 8pm. They can also be used when you can’t wait for an appointment with your GP.

Patients can just “walk-in” to any UTC in the county without an appointment and wait to be seen. Appointments can also be booked by contacting NHS 111. By using NHS 111, patients will know they are going to the right place for treatment.

You can find out the waiting times at any of the county’s MIUs or UTCs by downloading the WaitLess app to your phone. It is available from your phone’s app store. 

Self-care is recommended when you have a minor condition, which doesn’t normally need medical care or any treatment to get better.

This means a person decides they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor. A pharmacist can give advice on self-care. The NHS England website has a health A-Z, which is a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help. 

You can help ease the pressure on local health services by making sure your medicine cabinet is fully stocked with the basic essentials, such as paracetamol and upset tummy remedies, and by ordering repeat prescriptions in good time so that you don't run out. 

When you need medical help fast but it is not an emergency, visit 111.nhs.uk or call the NHS free phone number 111.

The 111 service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

If you contact 111, you will be assessed, given advice and, if needed, patients will be directed to the most appropriate local health services. Calls to 111 are free wherever you call from.

Contact 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.


A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one.

Call 999 if someone's life is at risk, for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose, or if you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe.

Urgent but not an emergency

Use the NHS 111 online service, or call 111 - you may be able to speak to a nurse, or mental health nurse, over the phone.

Support and services 

If you are looking for support with your mental health and wellbeing for you or someone you care for, visit our Kent and Medway’s Mental Wellbeing Information Hub.

The hub is an online one-stop place to help signpost you to support and services.

Whether you are feeling anxious or stressed, down or low or are just interested in finding out what help is available, the information hub is there for you.

The hub includes sections specifically for:

Your local pharmacist can give you expert advice about over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common conditions such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, a 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. Find your nearest pharmacy and opening times

Pharmacy opening times

The map below lists all pharmacies in Kent and Medway with addresses and opening times. 

Details are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change. Please contact the pharmacy before visiting, to make sure they are open and have the medication you require.

Urgent treatment centres


Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone                            


Buckland Hospital, Dover

 8am - 8pm

Victoria Memorial Hospital, Deal

 8am - 8pm

Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay

 8am - 8pm

Faversham Medical Practice, Faversham

 8am - 8pm

Estuary View Medical Centre, Whitstable

 8am - 8pm

Sevenoaks Hospital

 8am - 8pm

Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury

 8am - 8pm

Maidstone Hospital

 8am - 8pm

Medway Maritime

24 hours

QEQM Hospital, Margate                                             

24 hours

Kent and Canterbury Hospital                                                                         

24 hours

William Harvey Hospital, Ashford                                 

24 hours

Gravesham Community Hospital


8am to 8pm

Minor injury units:



Edenbridge District and War Memorial Hospital


8:30am to 6:30pm

Sheppey Community Hospital


9am to 9pm

Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital


9am to 9pm


For more detail please visit Kent Community Health Trust.


Find out the waiting times at any of the county’s MIUs or UTCs by downloading the WaitLess app to your phone. The app is available from the iPhone and Google play stores – just search WaitLess.

If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, including persistent vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache, make an appointment with your GP. 

You can contact most GP practices online as well as by phone. If you have access to the internet then going online means you can avoid sitting in phone queues and help leave phone lines clearer for others. You can also use this method to order repeat prescriptions and fit notes at some practices. Visit your practice’s website to find the best way to get in touch.  Find your GP practice's website.  

We know general practice phone lines are very busy at the moment and the appointments available are quickly taken. Read more about how we are supporting general practice.

For help finding a general practice, use the online search on 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.

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. This service is for those who need it most – like people with severe chest pains, serious head injuries, loss of consciousness or breathing difficulties.

A&E departments across Kent and Medway are currently extremely busy treating high numbers of patients. Please help us to protect emergency departments for those with the most serious conditions. Please consider using one of the alternatives above for less serious conditions.

Choose where to get the right help quickly.

Use NHS 111 if you're not sure what help you need. Online 111.nhs.uk or phone. The service can book you a slot, if needed, at an urgent treatment centre.

NHS apps:

NHS app iconThe NHS app: The simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your phone or tablet.

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