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When to use your GP or walk in centre

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Information on when to use your GP or Walk In Centre rather than going to A&E.

When to use your GP or Walk In Centre

GPs

GPs are highly skilled doctors who look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a wide range of health problems. Your GP should be your first point of contact for health issues that you can’t treat yourself with the help of your local pharmacy or information on NHS.uk.

GPs work in a practice as part of a team that includes nurses, healthcare assistants and other staff. They’re trained in all aspects of general medicine, which includes child health, mental health, screening, vaccinations and the management of long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

GP practices are there to support patients throughout their lives and help you manage your health and prevent illness. They work closely with other professionals such as health visitors, midwifes, mental health services and social services, and if your GP can’t deal with a problem they may refer you to hospital or another NHS service for tests, treatment or to see a specialist.

They’re usually open throughout the day from Monday to Friday but if you work during the day, many practices are now open early in the morning and in the early evening. Practices in Merseyside also offer same-day appointments for children.

You’ll need to register with a GP practice to access their services. When doing so, it’s a good idea to take the time to find a practice that meets your personal needs.

Walk In Centres

NHS Walk-in services are available if you feel unwell or suffer from a minor injury when you’re away from home, if you aren’t registered with a local GP or your GP is unavailable. They’re open early till late, and most are open 365 days a year and offer advice and treatment without the need for an appointment.

Nurses at Walk in centres can offer treatment for minor illnesses and injuries including:

  • Minor infections and rashes
  • Stomach upsets
  • Minor cuts and bruises
  • Strains and sprains
  • Coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms

You’ll be asked about your medical problem when you arrive at a Walk-in Centre. Patients are treated based on the urgency of their need, so please be aware that during busy times that you may need to wait.

Use the links below to find out more about your local walk in service, including how to find them and when they’re open: