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The information provided is aimed at guiding you through the services that are available in north east Essex, and how to choose the service that best suits your needs such as:

When to self-care

You can take care of those niggling pains, or an upset tummy, without having to queue or risk passing your illnesses on to others. Keeping your cupboards at home stocked with the basics, such as paracetamol, cough and cold remedies and a nit comb for your children means you can treat yourself and your family all year around.

When to visit a pharmacy

A quick trip to the local pharmacy is usually enough to get the treatment needed for most minor illnesses. You may not know it but community pharmacists are qualified to offer expert advice there and then, evenings or weekends, there are private consultation rooms available in most pharmacies if you would like to discuss anything in private. Don’t worry – if they think you need to be seen somewhere else they will tell you.

When to go and see your GP

Your GP is your best bet with all complex and ongoing conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition, as well as any urgent health problems. For those with kids, many GP surgeries will see children the same day for urgent appointments.

Did you know GPs are also available out of hours when your surgery is closed? If you require a GP outside of normal opening hours, please call NHS 111.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 makes it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services. It provides one, easy-to-remember number that is free to call from landlines or mobiles.

NHS 111 is staffed by a team of fully trained advisors, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms, provide healthcare advice and/or direct you to a local health service that can help you best.

Urgent Treatment Centres

From 1 October, 2019

We’ve brought all urgent care together and this includes new Urgent Treatment Centres at Colchester Hospital and Clacton Hospital. There is also an Urgent Treatment Centre (Minor Injuries Only) at Fryatt Hospital, Harwich.

The Urgent Treatment Centre at Colchester Hospital has been built next to the Emergency Department (A&E) and replaces the Walk-in Centre in Turner Road.

The Urgent Treatment Centre at Clacton Hospital replaces the Minor Injuries Unit but remains on the same site. The Minor Injuries Unit at Fryatt Hospital, Harwich, has become an Urgent Treatment Centre (Minor Injuries Only). It continues to be available to assess and treat minor injuries and remains on the same site.  

Blood tests (phlebotomy) in Colchester from 1 October, 2019

A note about blood tests from 1 October 2019

The public has asked for simpler services, which has led to the creation of an Urgent Treatment Centre which has replaced the Walk-in Centre. The Urgent Treatment Centre at Colchester Hospital does not provide walk-in blood test (phlebotomy) services.

You continue to be able to access blood test services from your GP practice. Please contact your GP practice for a blood test appointment.

They may signpost you to the walk-in blood test (phlebotomy) service at the Primary Care Centre in Turner Road and give you a form to take with you. The service is available:

Monday to Wednesday: 7am-2pm

Out of Hours Service from 1 October, 2019

Please be advised that if 111 have booked you an appointment with the Out of Hours Service, this remains at the Primary Care Centre in Turner Road. It is not accessed via the Urgent Treatment Centre at Colchester Hospital.

For more information, please click here.

When to go to A&E

Accident and Emergency is specifically to treat people with serious and life threatening conditions only and the doctors and nurses there are specially trained to do this important job. By carefully considering the best place for your injury or illness, you will assist the doctors and nurses in A&E to concentrate on treating those who need to be there.

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