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NHS

The NHS website has a banner heading on its home page which reads “We’re here for you, helping you to take control of your health and wellbeing”.

NHS account

One of the steps the NHS encourages you to take is to set up an NHS account. Anyone who is registered with a GP surgery in England and is at least 13 years old and has a mobile phone they can receive security text messages on can have an account.

Once you have an account you can use it to:

If you prefer to use a mobile phone or tablet to access the internet an NHS App is available to download from Google Play or the Apple store. The NHS has been making improvements to the information you can see when you log into your NHS account and the NHS App is also being regularly updated. One cautionary note is that some local residents have found that as they are using a mobile phone that is a few years old that the version of the App their phone can support is not as up to date as the information they can see when they log on via the internet.

If you have yet to register with a GP practice the NHS website has a postcode function to let you know which practices you can register with. Which surgeries will be offered to you will depend upon exactly where in Buckland you live – while the majority of Buckland residents will be directed to Brockwood Medical Practice or Medwyn Surgery some residents will also have the option of Walled House Surgery and a small number of properties fall within the catchment of Heathcote Medical Centre in Tadworth.

Seeking medical help

During surgery hours the NHS asks you to use an online form to help the staff at your GP surgery assess the best way to help you. If you have set up an NHS account you can access the online form via the website or App; anyone can access the online form.

Trained members of staff will review the information you provide and arrange for a member of the practice team to either call you or send you a message to provide advice and/or book an appointment. Do try to include as much information as possible to make it easier for the practice team to help you; e.g. if you are not going to be available at certain times or would find it easier to attend an appointment in the evening or on a Saturday do include this on the form to help the surgery staff respond to your request.

If you have provided a mobile telephone number for the surgery to contact you do keep the phone nearby with the volume turned up and check your text messages periodically (especially if you have disabled notifications to protect yourself against financial fraud).

Outside surgery hours

In the interests of patient safety many GP practices only make the online form for medical help available during surgery hours to ensure they can process all requests before the surgery closes for the day. There are other options available if you need help outside surgery hours.

111 services

If you need help now, and you are not sure what to do call 111 or visit 111 online.

The 111 online service takes you through the same questions as the 111 call handler and can be used for anyone aged 5 and over.

Depending on your symptoms, 111 (either the online system or the call operator) may advise you to:

Urgent Treatment Centres

Urgent treatment centres, minor injuries units and walk-in centres are all types of urgent care service. They are separate from A&E, although some might be located in the same hospital building.

Urgent treatment centres provide medical help when it’s not a life-threatening emergency. They can diagnose and deal with many of the common problems people go to A&E for and are often seen much quicker than they would be if they went to A&E. Urgent treatment centres are usually staffed by nurses. If you need one, you can often get tests like an ECG (electrocardiogram), blood tests or an X-ray.

They can help with things like: 

The urgent treatment centre at Crawley Hospital is open 24/7 and can see all ages.

Minor injuries units or walk-in centres offer some, but not all, of the same help as urgent treatment centres. No appointment is needed but  you can book a timed arrival slot through NHS 111 – this helps the team know you’re coming and it will also help you get seen more quickly. Caterham Dene Minor Injury Unit can see adults and children over the age of 5, 7 days a week, between 8am and 7.30pm. Horsham Hospital has a Minor Injury Unit that is open between 9am and 5pm, Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays).

Pharmacies

Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you and your family with minor health concerns. Pharmacists can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble, and aches and pains.

If symptoms suggest it is something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need, e.g. they may tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other health professional.

NHS England recently launched Pharmacy First, a service to help you get access to the right care from the right person at the right time for seven common conditions that require advice and treatment. Instead of having to go to your GP practice for this, which potentially could cause a delay in your treatment, you can go straight to a pharmacy offering Pharmacy First, or be referred by your GP Practice, NHS111 or another medical or emergency care setting.  Read a recent News item issued by Brockwood Medical Practice to learn more about Pharmacy First.

If you are unsure which pharmacy to visit use the NHS pharmacy finder tool.

Accident and Emergency

A&E (accident and emergency) is for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies only. It is also known as the emergency department or casualty. Life-threatening emergencies are different for adults and children. Visit the NHS website for more guidance.