To make the most of NHS health services you can choose the option that is right for your needs; saving yourself time and inconvenience, and getting the most appropriate treatment. As well as the services provided by Penygraig Surgery there are a range of other options such as phoning NHS Direct, visiting an NHS walk-in centre, or asking your local pharmacist. Many everyday illnesses like colds and sore throats can be easily treated at home without visiting a doctor.
To get the right treatment you can call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647 for confidential health advice and information 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. NHS Direct has become a first point of contact for patients seeking medical help outside normal surgery hours. Many sites are also automatically handling GP out-of-hours calls.
You can prepare for winter by keeping a range of over-the-counter medicines at home. A well stocked medicine chest will help you with many common illnesses and minor ailments (e.g. colds and flu, coughs, sore throats, toothache and headaches). If you have children don’t forget to include appropriate medicines for them. If symptoms persist or worsen you should contact NHS Direct or your GP.
Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections. All colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses and therefore antibiotics will not cure them.
Pharmacists are experts on medicines and how they work. They can answer questions about choosing the right medicine, provide advice on treating everyday ailments, and help you decide whether you need to see a doctor. Find your local pharmacy here.
The Pharmacy also provides a Common Ailment Scheme. This is when you can have a consultation with the Pharmacist with conditions such as eg, conjunctivitis, dermatitis, hay fever, threadworms, etc. Please ask the pharmacy for more details.
It is often very obvious when emergency care is needed for serious injury or illness. You should get medical attention by going to A&E at your local hospital or by phoning 999 for an emergency ambulance. Unless you need emergency medical attention it is best to avoid local A&E. Doctors and nurses there are equipped to deal with serious cases of injury and illness, not routine and minor ailments.
NHS Direct Wales (0845 4647) can provide you with details of dentists accepting NHS patients, emergency dental services and give general advice on pain relief and self-care.
Find your local dentist here.
GP’s work with a range of healthcare professionals including nurses, health visitors, mental health nurses, midwives and practice nurses, any of whom may be able to help you. Surgeries are particularly busy in the winter months, so be sure to keep to your appointment time and cancel it if you need to; missed appointments waste precious GP time and resources.
You may also be able to speak to someone over the phone. Out-of-hours services are for medical emergencies and should only be contacted if you can’t wait until the next day to be treated. We have an answering machine message referring you to the out-of-hours telephone number, you can also call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647.