Finding the Health Service You Need

You can go to your GP and/or you can use other services if you are ill, or have an injury.

Other Services:

  • NHS Website and Phone Line
  • Pharmacist
  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Minor Injuries
  • Emergency

It is important to make the right choice so that you get the right care.

This also makes sure other people can get appointments if they need them.

NHS website and Phone Line

The national NHS website has lots of useful information on:

  • using health services in England
  • health conditions

It includes information on mental health, children’s health, healthy eating and much more.

NHS Phone 111

Do you have concerns about an illness or injury that is not serious or life-threatening?

Phone 111 is run by trained advisers and is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Get advice about finding the right service, including out of hours doctor’s appointments at the evening or weekend. Also, emergency dentists.

You can ask for an interpreter.

Find out more about 111, including translated leaflets in different languages.


The pharmacy is where you take a prescription from your GP or nurse.

The pharmacist will usually tell you to wait 10 – 20 minutes while they find the medicine.

Sometimes they will tell you to collect it another day.

You will have to fill out part of the prescription form, to tell them whether you have to pay or you can get the medicine for free.

Pharmacists also sell ‘over the counter’ medication which you can buy without a prescription, for example painkillers like paracetamol, or cold remedies.

They can also give you expert advice on common health conditions, such as treating colds, coughs, vomiting and diarrhoea, cuts and bruises.

If you use a pharmacy first, maybe you do not need the GP. You can treat the problem at home. Many pharmacies are open late and over the weekend.

Find your local pharmacy.


  • You can see a dentist for a regular check up on your teeth, or if you have a teeth problem.
  • You do not need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP.
  • You can contact any dentist that is convenient for you.
  • Phone them to see if there are appointments available.
  • Find an NHS dentist near you.

In England, you must pay for NHS dentist treatment, unless you are entitled to free treatment. You can get free dental treatment if you are:

  • aged under 16, or under 19 and in full time education
  • pregnant or have a baby under 12 months old
  • receiving certain welfare benefits

Find out about the cost of treatment and who can get free treatment.

  • Not all dentists are always able to take on new NHS patients.
  • You may have to join a waiting list, or look for a different dentist.
  • Or you can choose to use a private dentist, where the costs for treatment will be a bit higher.
  • It can be difficult to find a regular NHS dentist – but you do not need to suffer pain. You can usually get a dentist who will give you emergency treatment.

Need an Emergency Dentist?  Phone 111 to ask for your nearest one.


The NHS recommends that you should get your eyes tested every two years.

Opticians can carry out eye tests and check the health of your eyes. They can sell you glasses and contact lenses.

The quickest and easiest way to find an optician is Google Maps. Search: opticians near me.

In England, everyone has to pay for optician treatment, unless you are entitled to ‘NHS funded-treatment’.  This means free eye tests, and vouchers towards the cost of glasses.

Find out if you can get free eye tests and vouchers.

Minor Injuries Units

You can go to a Minor Injuries Units instead of A&E.

This is to treat less serious injuries and illnesses, e.g. sprains, broken bones, minor burns, minor head and eye injuries.

The nearest Minor Injuries Unit is 13 miles from Bradford, by car. (It is difficult by bus.)

It is open 8am – 11pm. It is usually a quiet hospital and you should be seen quickly. You don’t need an appointment but it is a good idea to phone first: 0113 392 1647. Opening hours can sometimes change. Find out more about Minor Injury Units.

What to do in an emergency

Accident and Emergency (A&E) Units are for treating people with very serious and life threatening illnesses or injuries eg:

  • chest pain
  • heavy bleeding that will not stop
  • losing consciousness
  • difficulty breathing
  • severe allergic reaction or burn
  • serious accident

The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit in Bradford is:

Bradford Royal Infirmary (called BRI)

If you need an ambulance to take someone to A&E, phone 999.

Only use Accident and Emergency and ambulances in a real emergency.

This way, most seriously ill or injured patients can be treated quickly.

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