When we are feeling unwell, our first port of call is often to book an appointment to see our GP.
Did you know, there are many other professionals and services working closely with your GP who may be able to help you better, and quicker?
The next time you pop in or call your surgery to make an appointment, you may be asked some questions about the reason for your appointment. Please don't be offended - this is simply so that the receptionist can make sure you see the person who is most suitable to help you.
By considering these other options, you can help free up valuable time for GPs to care for patients with complex or serious health conditions which can only be managed by a GP. We want to support you to see the right person first but the choice is always yours and you will never be refused an appointment.
You can access the following services by self-referral, which means you don't need to see your GP first:
- Pharmacy - your local pharmacist is a highly skilled medical professional and can offer advice on a range of minor health concerns including coughs, colds, tummy troubles, acne, hayfever, emergency contraception, strains and sprains, travel sickness and much more. Buying medicines over the counter for minor illnesses saves you time and money, as well as freeing up time for GPs to see patients who really need to be seen. Click here to find your nearest pharmacy.
- Dentist - you should be registered with a dental practice and have regular check ups. Your dentist can also help with toothache, gum problems, wisdom teeth, bleeding from the gums and most other mouth related health problems. Click here to find your nearest practice. if you need emergency dental treatment while your dentist is closed, the Emergency Dental Service may be able to provide an appointment for temporary treatment.
- Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC) - HSCC is a free point of contact for adults and carers with health, care and support needs to access information, advice and community services in East Sussex, such as the falls service. If you, or the person you care for is over 18, you can call the service on 0345 60 80 191 between 8am and 10pm, 7 days a week.
- Health in Mind - Health in Mind is a free NHS service for those experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties such as stress, anxiety and depression. The discreet service offers a range of therapies in groups, face-to-face , over the phone and online, and can be accessed via their website or by calling 0300 00 30 130 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
- Maternity - Just found out you are pregnant? You can self-refer and book to see a midwife directly to start planning your care. Click here to complete the secure online form. You are likely to have your first midwife appointment sooner than if you are referred via your GP, improving access to antenatal screening.
- Minor Eye Conditions service (MECs) - Local optometrists in participating practices can offer assessment and treatment of common eye problems. These include blurred vision, eye pain or discomfort, flashes and floaters, lumps and bumps and watery, gritty, dry, or itchy eyes. Appointments are normally required. Click here to find out more and for participating practices near you.
- One You East Sussex - One You can help you get back to a healthier you, supporting you to make small changes towards a longer and happier life. The service provides support with healthy eating, weight loss, exercise, stopping smoking and more. Visit their website to find out more.