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How to use Health Services

Your guide to where to get help quickly when you need it most

"Injured or Unwell".

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How to register with a GP

You need to register with a family doctor (also known as a General Practitioner or GP) as soon as possible.  You see your GP about all health matters.  He or she can also arrange for you to see professionals at a local hospital.  If you have children, the GP can arrange for them to be given immunisation injections. Health Visitors (for young children) and School Nurses may contact you to help keep your children healthy.  GPs arrange for pregnant women to have scans in hospital to make sure their baby is healthy, and liaise with a midwife to make arrangements for the birth.

There is no charge for you to see a GP.  If the GP gives you a prescription for medication you will have to pay for the medication.

To find a GP in your area you can telephone a service called NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit If you need interpretation services when making this enquiry by telephone, just say which language you wish to use when your call is answered.

Once you have found a GP who you would like to register with, go to their surgery, or telephone them, and ask a receptionist about registering.  Interpretation services can be arranged if you need them.

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When your GP surgery is closed

If you need GP services out of normal surgery hours - from 6pm to 8am Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays and Public Holidays – telephone the GP out-of-hours service on 0330 123 9309.

This is only for urgent medical problems that cannot wait until normal surgery hours to be treated.

If you need interpreting services when making this telephone call, just say which language you wish to use when your call is answered.

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NHS Direct

If you have any doubts about where to go for health services, telephone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.  When your call is answered, just say which language you wish to use.  You will be connected to an interpreter who will help NHS Direct give you the information or advice you need. This telephone service provides 24-hour advice and health information.  It is staffed by nurses and professional advisors, providing confidential information on what to do if you or a family member feels ill, particular health conditions, where to find local health services and self-help or support organisations.

The NHS Direct website has information in several languages about illnesses, operations, tests, treatment, advice on common health problems, and a search facility to find your nearest GP, doctor, dentist or  chemist.

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Serious emergency care

If you or someone in your family is seriously ill and needs emergency care you should get medical attention by either taking the patient to an Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) or by telephoning 999 and asking for an emergency ambulance.  This call will be free of charge.

In Herefordshire, accidents that cause severe injuries are dealt with in the Accident and Emergency Department at the County Hospital in Hereford. If you are not sure if it is an emergency, you can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice on what to do.

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Minor Injury Units

If you have had a minor accident, but have not hurt yourself severely enough to need to go to A&E or call 999 for an emergency ambulance, your nearest Minor Injury Unit can help.  The units at Ross Community Hospital and Leominster Community Hospital are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.  If you require urgent treatment out of hours please visit the Accident & Emergency Department at The County Hospital in Hereford.  The units at Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre and Kington Court Health and Social Care Centre are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will treat patients for minor injuries such as cuts, sprains and minor burns.  You do not need to make an appointment.  Interpretation services will be available if you need them - please tell staff you need it.  There are Minor Injury Units at:

Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre  01531 632 488
Leominster Community Hospital    01568 614 211
Kington Court Health and Social Care Centre  01544 232 333
Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital   01989 562 100

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