Out of hours help and support

If you have an urgent but not-life-threatening medical need, make sure you visit NHS 111 online first rather than going straight to A&E.

NHS 111 

NHS 111 online makes it easier for patients to get the treatment they need in the right place. The service can also direct patients to urgent treatment centres/walk in centres, GPs, pharmacies, emergency dental services or other more appropriate local services.
NHS 111 online can also tell you where to get help for your symptoms, how to find general health information and advice, where to get emergency supplies of your prescribed medicines and how to get a repeat prescription.

If you have hearing loss, are Deaf or have difficulties communicating you can also access NHS 111 by textphone on 18001 111 and British Sign Language (BSL) users can use the NHS 111 BSL interpreter service.

To find out more as well as information in alternative formats including BSL, easy read, large print and audio visit nhs.uk/111

If you or your loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury then you should always dial 999.

Urgent Treatment centres (urgent care centres)

Urgent treatment centres are usually overseen by doctors (sometimes GPs) working with nurses.

If you need one, you can often get tests like an ECG (electrocardiogram), blood tests or an x-ray.

They can diagnose and deal with many of the most common problems people go to A&E for.

These are things like: 

  • broken bones and sprains
  • injuries, cuts and bruises
  • wound dressing
  • stomach pain 
  • coughs, colds and breathing problems
  • vomiting and diarrhoea 
  • skin infections and rashes
  • high temperature (fever) in children and adults
  • mental health problems

If a doctor decides you need a prescription, they can organise one for you. Emergency contraception is also available.

You do not need an appointment to visit most urgent care services.

You do not need to be registered with a GP or have a fixed address to use any urgent care service.

Chest Pain/Heart Attack

People act upon chest pain, but heart attacks manifest themselves in different ways, and people may not recognise other symptoms, such as a squeezing across the chest, sweating, shortness of breath, feeling weak or lightheaded or a feeling of unease.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:
o chest pain – a sensation of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across the chest
o pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and tummy (abdomen)
o feeling lightheaded or dizzy
o sweating
o shortness of breath
o feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
o an overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack)
o coughing or wheezing
• Although the chest pain is often severe, some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion.
• While the most common symptom of a heart attack in both men and women is chest pain, women are more likely to experience other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Even if you’re unsure if you or somebody you’re with is having a heart attack, call 999 and describe your symptoms

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or a speech impairment you can text 999 for emergency services but your phone has to be registered beforehand.

Alternatively, you can use the 999BSL service if you are a BSL user.

Emergencies using British Sign Language (BSL)

How to make a 999 BSL call?

There are two ways to reach the emergency authorities through 999 BSL service and they are:

· iOS and Android App (smartphone and tablet)

· Web-based (www.999bsl.co.uk)

There are three very simple steps, you will need to:

1. Open the app (needs downloading beforehand) or webpage

2. Press the red button ‘Call 999 BSL now’

3. Connect to an interpreter

It is so simple.

When to use the 999 BSL service?

The 999 BSL service is for emergency situations ONLY, for an example if someone is seriously injured; lives at risk; being in danger or harm; a serious offence is in progress or just has been committed.

For less urgent situations, please use Police 101 (wherever possible) and NHS111 through SignVideo – not 999 BSL, unless there is an emergency.

For more information about the 999 BSL service please visit www.999bsl.co.uk

Out of hours help

If you need support for your health outside of the standard opening hours of your local GP, there are places that you can go for support.

The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that’s convenient for you. They have produced guidance on how best to access services out of hours that can be found in full online.

  • Phone NHS 111
    This service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a service that provides medical advice as well as the details of the services closest to you that help you deal with your need following a medical assessment.
  • Visit your local pharmacy
    Your pharmacist will be able to help you with a number of issues. How your pharmacy can help
  • Visit your nearest NHS walk in centre
    If you need treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes you can visit your nearest NHS walk-in centreurgent care centre or minor injuries unit. These are not suitable for treating long term conditions. To be seen at one of these services you do not need an appointment, or to be registered. You may be referred to one of these services by NHS 111, or you can just walk in.

General support helplines

Keep well this winter with our tips and advice


Homeless services available to support rough sleepers in Leicester during the Christmas and new year period

If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can report it online here.

Mental Heath

If you or someone you know needs urgent help for their Mental Health please call 999 or go to your nearest A&E (Accident and Emergency) department.

If you need to talk to someone you can contact the Samaritans. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Dental Care

What to do if you have a dental emergency?

If you need immediate care for your teeth, you should:

  • Ask your regular dentist whether they can offer an emergency appointment.
  • Phone NHS111 who can locate an urgent dental service.
  • Visit A&E if you experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, or injuries to the face, mouth or teeth.

If you are not registered with a dentist

Use the NHS website to search for a dentist near you.

The site also provides information on which dental practices are currently accepting new patients, whether they offer urgent appointments, and how other people have rated the service.