Don't wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist
Winter can make existing health problems worse. So if you feel like you're coming down with something, even if it's just a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets worse.
Act quickly. The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better.
Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action. So go to see a pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell.
This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.
If you can't get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.
If you think your illness requires more specialist help, call your GP or NHS 111.
If you're not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.
Ask your pharmacist
Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets.
You don't need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.
See your family doctor
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures. Your GP will arrange a referral to a hospital specialist should you need it.
Visit an urgent care service
Visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor illness or injury (infections, vomiting and stomach aches) and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open. These urgent care services are often managed by nurses and some also have doctors. You don't need an appointment and they are open outside office hours.
Accident and Emergency
A&E departments provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you're not sure it's an emergency, call 111 for advice.