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Home » Your Health and Services » Self care » Guide to local NHS services

Guide to local NHS services

Sometimes it's hard to know what NHS service to use for your illness or injury. This short guide should help.

NHS 111 

NHS 111 can help you if you need medical help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, NHS 111 connects you to a team of fully trained call advisers who are supported by experienced nurses, paramedics, and GPs.  

They will ask questions to assess the symptoms, and give healthcare advice or direct you to a local NHS service. If necessary, they can also call an ambulance or direct you straight to A&E. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone. Just dial 111. You can also access 111 online.

Mental health – 111 option 2

If you're in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough there's a service which gives those in mental health crisis the opportunity to get access to help quickly, by calling NHS 111 and selecting option 2.

The service allows patients or carers to speak to specially-trained mental health staff who can provide advice, support, and signposting to other services. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone.

GPs  - any illness or injury that won't go away

Your local GP practice can help with many illnesses or injuries,  advice on health problems, vaccinations, examinations and treatment, prescriptions for medicines, referrals to other health services and social services.

When your GP practice is closed at the weekends or evenings, you can still see a GP. Contact the GP out-of-hours service by calling NHS 111.  The NHS 111 team will assess your condition over the phone and if they think you need to be seen by a health professional, they will refer you to the out of hours GP service.


Local pharmacies can offer expert advice and treatment for a wide range of common conditions and minor injuries. They can help with a range of things including aches, hangovers, colds, emergency contraception, and non-prescription medication. You can also buy your own over the counter medication to save yourself a trip to your GP and save the NHS money!

Minor Injury Units and Urgent Treatment Centres

Minor Injury Units (MIU) and Urgent Care Centres (UTC) can treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings and sports injuries.

No appointment required!

The three Minor Injury Units have different opening hours

  • Ely Minor Injury Unit, Princess of Wales Hospital, Lynn Road, Ely, Cambs CB6 1DN.
  • Doddington Minor Injury Unit, Benwick Road, Doddington, Cambs PE15 0UG.
  • North Cambs Hospital Minor Injury Unit, The Park, Wisbech, Cambs PE13 3AB.

Self care 

Many minor illnesses can be treated at home with basic medicines that are available from your local pharmacy. Stocking up on essential medicines can help you avoid a trip to the GP or even A&E. Medicine cabinet essentials include:      

  • painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen          
  • anti-diarrhoea tablets and rehydration powders   
  • indigestion treatment   
  • bandages and plasters   
  • antiseptic cream or spray   
  • first aid kit.