If you have an illness or injury that just will not go away, make an appointment with your local GP. They provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. GPs offer urgent next-day appointments, and have an evening and weekend service that includes home visits.

What do they offer?

Your local doctors' surgery or GP practice provides a wide range of family health services, including:

  • advice on health problems
  • vaccinations
  • examinations and treatment
  • prescriptions for medicines
  • referrals to other health services and social services

If your condition is non-urgent, you can expect to see a doctor within two working days or a health professional such as a nurse within one working day. If you don't need an appointment within two working days, you can also book in advance if this is more convenient for you.

It is important to keep your appointment, or notify the surgery if you have to cancel or change it.

What can I expect from my doctor?

Doctors (who are also called general practitioners or GPs) look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a whole range of health problems. They also give health education and advice on things like smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations.

Doctors usually work with a team including nurses, health visitors and midwives, as well as a range of other health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists. If doctors cannot deal with your problem themselves, they'll usually refer you to a hospital for tests, treatment or to see a consultant with specialised knowledge.

GP Out-of-hours services

Out-of-Hours Telephone number: 111

The NHS pledge is to provide easy access to services at a time that is convenient for you.

Outside normal surgery hours you can still phone your doctors surgery, but you'll usually be directed to an out-of-hours service. The out-of-hours period is from 6.30pm to 8.00am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.

You can also call NHS 111 (24 hours a day, seven days a week) for medical advice.