Choose Well – Choose the right health service for you

Choose the right health service for you


Some local NHS services across east Berkshire will have different opening times over the Bank holiday. East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are advising people to check the opening times for pharmacies, GP surgeries and dental practices before visiting.

Those on regular medication are being reminded to order and collect repeat prescriptions well in advance so they have enough medicine while GP surgeries and pharmacies are closed.

People often don’t know where to go for medical help or in the case of summer and winter can become more ill due to either extreme hot or cold.

For more information about local services and where to go for advice, view our leaflet called “Your Guide to Local Primary Care and Urgent Care Services in Bracknell and Ascot”.

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A lot of common illnesses and injuries can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicines, so make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, including:

  • paracetamol or Ibuprofen for pain and/or fever (in adults and children);
  • decongestants – for stuffy noses;
  • indigestion remedies – tablets or liquids to help with heartburn;
  • antiseptic wipes – for cuts and grazes;
  • antihistamine tablets – for allergies and insect bites;
  • medicine to combat diarrhoea;
  • rehydration mixture – these can help to restore your body’s natural balance of minerals and fluid, and relieve discomfort and tiredness if you have diarrhoea, vomiting or fever.

And a well stocked first aid kit, including:

  • bandages;
  • plasters;
  • sterile dressings;
  • medical tape;
  • a thermometer.

However, if you are worried or not getting better, there are many alternatives available so ‘Talk before you Walk’ to make sure you get the right NHS care for you.

Call NHS 111 for advice

When you need help quickly but it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111 where there are friendly, highly-trained staff available to talk to you direct about your health concerns. Advisors are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions about your symptoms and then offer healthcare advice or direct you to the service that can help you best.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is FREE to call from landlines or mobile phones.

Health information is also available around the clock at:

Speak to your local pharmacist

Pharmacies can treat a lot more than you think!

Diarrhoea / headache /  sore throat / painful cough / runny nose / minor illnesses / upset stomach / skin conditions

Your pharmacist is a healthcare professional who can provide advice and treatment for these common conditions as well as dispensing prescriptions.

Pharmacies offer stop smoking advice, the morning-after pill, advice on how to manage your medicines – and most have private consulting rooms so you don’t need to explain what’s wrong with the possibility of other people listening in.


Your GP

GP Surgeries are your first port of call for ongoing illnesses or injuries.

GPs, practice nurses and other members of the team can help with a range of services by appointment – but remember if you phone at a particularly busy time they may need to take a message and arrange to call you back later.

Make sure you get your repeat prescriptions before a bank holiday and check on older friends or relatives to make sure they are up to date.

If your surgery is closed, you can still contact your surgery for the out-of-hours service.

Urgent Care Centres and Walk in Centres

If you have an urgent but non-life-threatening illness or condition, you should go to your local Urgent Care Centre or Walk in Centre.

They can treat things like:

Cuts / burns / sprains / strains / suspected breaks / minor head injuries / bites and stings​

Bracknell Urgent Care Centre
Royal Berkshire Bracknell Healthspace
London Road
Bracknell, RG12 9BG

Open from 8am to 8pm, everyday of the year

The centre treats minor injuries and illnesses that need immediate assessment and treatment but don’t require a visit to A&E. The centre is led by nurses and supported by a GP at all times – but it is not an alternative to your GP surgery which should be contacted first if at all possible.

Waiting times vary, depending on the time of day and the number of patients, and staff will prioritise certain groups of people, including children and the elderly. If you are kept waiting, please be patient.


Only call 999 or go to A&E in a genuine life-threatening emergency.

Loss of consciousness / bleeding you can’t stop / severe chest pain/ choking/ stroke/ blacking out

A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people with very serious or life-threatening illness.

At A&E the most seriously ill patients will be seen before those with less urgent care conditions. This means that some people have to wait for several hours or they may be signposted to their GP, pharmacist or other healthcare services who will be able to assist them.