It's after hours, now what?
It’s always good to know what is available in your town or city at what time of day, for those times when your general practice is closed, before you need help for yourself or somebody else.
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Assuming the illness or injury isn’t serious or urgent enough to dial 111 for an ambulance, try these options:
Healthline - 0800 611 116 is a great place to start. It’s a free service where you can get instant advice from trained, registered nurses. They can provide you with a sounding board to help you decide whether it’s something that needs attention before your practice opens, or not.
If you’re out of town, they can also direct you to your nearest doctor or pharmacy.
If you live in a city or town with after hours services, you can still see a general practitioner and nursing team in the evening or on weekends. This is the best solution if your situation is not very serious or life threatening: GPs are the best health professionals to deal with for everyday illnesses and accidents.
If you can’t get to see a GP, it can’t wait, and it’s serious, you’ll need to go to the emergency department, but bear in mind the wait is likely to be very long - hospitals are best saved for when you are very sick or injured.