Out Of Hours

Feeling ill at night, or when the surgery is closed?

NHS 111 is a new service that’s being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a “999” emergency.

NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call.
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

How does it work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, a walk-in centre or urgent care centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.  If you need an ambulance one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialled 999.

Please note if a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies please continue to call 999.

For more information on the NHS 111 service please use the following link:

www.nhs.uk

You can also visit one of the Centres below who provide local residents suffering from a minor illness or injury with an appropriate local service rather than attending Accident & Emergency. There is no need for an appointment – please see below for details and opening times.

Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre, Warren Farm Road, Kingstanding, B44 0PU

The walk in service at Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre is for anyone suffering from a minor illness or injury.

There is no need to book an appointment and you will be assessed by a specialist nurse.

The Centre is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00 (except Christmas Day).

For more information please visit:

www.warrenfarmurgentcarecentre.nhs.uk

Walsall Walk-in Health Centre, Market Square, Walsall, WS1 1QZ

This is a walk-in service where minor illness and injury can be treated without making an appointment. The centre is open 08:00 – 20:00, 365 days a year.

For more information please visit:

www.walsall.nhs.uk

Erdington Health and Wellbeing Centre, High Street, Erdington, B23 6SJ

GP-led Walk-in Centre

This service allows you to walk in and see a GP without an appointment between 08:00 and 20:00 every day, 365 days a year.

For more information please visit:

www.nhs.uk

Boots the Chemist, 66 High Street, Birmingham (opposite Marks & Spencer) – lower ground floor

Walk in service Monday to Friday 08:00 to 19:00, Saturday 09:00 to 18:00 & Sunday 11:00 to 16:00.

Your local pharmacist

If you feel off-colour, but don’t feel ill enough to go to the doctor, ask your pharmacist for advice. Pharmacists have been trained to offer helpful, easy-to-understand advice on the treatment of everyday minor ailments from coughs, colds, flu and headaches to bites, stings, earache, pregnancy testing and indigestion. Your pharmacist will know when medical help is needed and will not hesitate to refer you to your doctor if your symptoms demand it.

Often, however, an over-the-counter remedy will be all you need and it is worth remembering that pharmacies offer far more medicines than any other outlets. That is because many of today’s effective non-prescription medicines can only be supplied under the supervision of a pharmacist, which means they are only available at a pharmacy. Remember too that you can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even out the most personal symptoms. Like doctors, pharmacists have a professional code which means all personal information you give them will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Some pharmacists are now opening for 100 hours a week, meaning they are open late into the evening several times a week. The ‘100 hour’ pharmacy in this area is: Boots the Chemist, Units 4-5, Princess Alice Retail Park, Sutton Coldfield, Telephone 0121 354 4852.

Accident & Emergency / 999

In an emergency, you might need to call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department. There is often extreme pressure on these services, so think first about whether your illness could be better treated by using one of the other options in this leaflet. These services are for patients who have suffered a serious injury or illness requiring immediate treatment. Priorities include people with severe chest pain, severe breathlessness, loss of consciousness, cuts and lacerations that require stitches and suspected broken bones. Cases at A&E are not dealt with in the order that patients present themselves, but by the seriousness of the condition. This means that if you attend A&E with a minor condition, you may have to wait up to four hours to be seen and you may be using a service someone else needs more than you.

It may seem obvious, but A&E should only be used by people who have had accidents or emergencies and not as a substitute for making an appointment with your GP practice. This is for those who are seriously ill and need emergency care. A&E consultations are rising rapidly and putting a strain on hospital resources.

Unnecessary visits to A&E simply make waiting times longer for everyone else and risk taking staff away from people who are very sick. PLEASE DO NOT GO TO A&E OR DIAL 999 UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.