Choosing the right service

Choose Well

Choosing the right care when you are unwell is important as it can help to reduce demand on NHS services, meaning we can be there for those who really need us. If you start to feel unwell, remember to seek advice as soon as possible.

Click here to download our leaflet, titled  'Do you know which service to use?'

Choosing well means that:

  • Busy accident and emergency services, including 999 and ambulances, can help those who need them most urgently.
  • Essential treatment can be given as quickly as possible.
  • You can get the right treatment in the right place at the right time.

Visit the our find a local health service page find out more.


Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries.

A range of common illnesses and complaints, such as a hangover, grazed knee, cough, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest. Remember to complete and comply with prescribed medications.

Some self-care essentials for your medicine cabinet include:

  • Paracetamol
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medicines
  • Re-hydration mixtures
  • Indigestion remedies
  • A thermometer

You can also find lots of useful resources by visiting the self care forum.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is available 24 hours, seven days a week, both online and via telephone, if you urgently need medical help or information but your situation is not life-threatening.

Visit NHS 111 or call 111 if:

  • You need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • You need an NHS urgent care service
  • You don't know who to call or which service you need, you don't have a GP to call or your GP practice is closed.
  • You need health information or reassurance about what to do next

NHS 111 is a free phone call.

Local pharmacy

Your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses.

Lots of pharmacies are open until late and at weekends, and you don’t need to make an appointment. Please do not attend if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. 

Your pharmacist can also talk to you confidentially without anything being noted in your medical records, which some people may prefer.

Pharmacy teams can give advice about a range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, painful coughs and headaches.

If you would like to buy an over-the-counter medicine, the pharmacist can help you choose one.

They can also advise you on whether you need to see a GP.

GP Surgery

Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

The way you access GP services has changed during the coronavirus pandemic but the NHS is still here for you. Appointments may be held via telephone or video-call but face to face appointments can still be arranged if needed.

 Some of the things you should go to your GP about include:

  • Back pain
  • Stomach ache
  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting

If you think you need to see a GP when your surgery is closed, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.

Many GP surgeries now offer extended opening times on evenings and during weekends.

Urgent Treatment Centres

If you need urgent treatment for a minor injury or illness, urgent treatment centres are available.

The 24/7 Urgent Care Centre at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital can treat a wide range of minor ailments, for both children and adults, including: 

  • Minor nose bleeds
  • Cuts, bites and stings
  • Burns and scalds
  • Infections (including abscesses)
  • Foreign bodies in wounds, ears and noses
  • Muscular sprains and strains to shoulders, arms and legs
  • Fractures to shoulders, arms, legs & ribs
  • Dislocations of fingers, thumbs and toes
  • Minor eye conditions including conjunctivitis and foreign bodies
  • Minor chest, neck and back injuries
  • Minor head injuries with no loss of consciousness or alcohol-related
  • Minor allergic reactions
  • Minor ailments such as earache, urinary tract infections and sinusitis
  • Diarrhoea / Constipation
  • Emergency contraception

For more information on services, please visit:

999 or emergency departments

999 and emergency departments are for patients with serious, life threatening injuries and illnesses.

The emergency department at Chorley and South Ribble District Hospital is an adult’s only service.

Children or young people under the age of 18, and pregnant women needing A&E services in an emergency situation should go to the Royal Preston Hospital to ensure they get the most appropriate care.

The department accepts patients from 8am until 8pm each day.

Between 8am – 8pm ambulances will transport patients to Chorley if appropriate.

Outside of these hours, ambulance patients will be taken to Royal Preston Hospital.

You should not attend the A&E service at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital in the following circumstances:

  • You are pregnant
  • You are under the age of 18
  • You suffer a badly broken bone
  • You suspect a heart attack or stroke
  • You suspect internal bleeding
  • You suffer extensive burns
  • You suffer extensive trauma

In any of these circumstances, please go directly to Royal Preston A&E department. Patients requiring resuscitation or suffering from high risk internal bleeding will also be taken straight to the Royal Preston Hospital.

Think carefully before going dialing 999 or going to an accident and emergency department at a hospital as there may be another local health service available to you that is more appropriate to use.

Download the Stop, Think Ambulance fact sheet.