Winter Message – Choose the right service to help you stay out of hospital

self help pharmacist message

Published: 29 November 2019

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries like a coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat. They can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

Use your pharmacist for advice and treatment for illnesses like hay fever, diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes. By visiting your pharmacy, you can save time by avoiding an unnecessary trip to your GP. Find your nearest pharmacy here:

Call 111 or visit if you’re feeling unwell, unsure or if you need health advice and guidance in non-life-threatening emergencies – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact your GP, as they can help you if you have a non-life-threatening illness or any concerns about your health and well-being. Improved GP access in Devon means you can now make routine appointments to see a GP in the evenings and at weekends.

Visit a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU), Walk-In Centre (WIC) or Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), for treatment of non-urgent conditions, like cuts, sprains, strain, bruises, itchy rashes, stings and minor burns. You will be seen by an experienced nurse, without the need for an appointment.

Across Devon there are facilities in Bideford, Dawlish, Devonport, Exeter (Sidwell Street WIC), Exmouth, Kingsbridge, Honiton, Ilfracombe, Lynton, Newton Abbot, Tiverton and Totnes. Always check for local opening hours.

The NHS – is always available for health advice and guidance.

Mental health crisis cafés, also known as The Moorings @ Devon, offer out-of-hours mental health support to anyone aged 16+ in Devon, from locations in Barnstaple, Exeter, and Torquay. Visit for contact details and opening hours.

Visiting the Emergency Department (ED) or dialling 999 are best used in an emergency for serious or life-threatening conditions like severe bleeding, breathing difficulties, severe chest pain and loss of consciousness. Visiting ED is not an alternative to a GP appointment.