Last updated: 25 September 2020 at 4.10pm
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell.
It's still important to get medical help if you need it.
Do not ignore or delay seeking medical treatment for other abnormal signs or symptoms that you may be experiencing.
GPs, hospitals and other parts of the health services are still seeing patients for routine and emergency services.
All health services have precautions in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
There are ways to get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone.
If you feel unwell
Phone your GP to discuss your symptoms if you feel unwell. They may give you advice over the phone or arrange to see you in person.
Urgent medical help
If you are feeling very unwell and need urgent medical help, phone 112 or 999. Ask for an ambulance. You can also go to your local emergency department
Signs of a heart attack
- Your chest feels tight or heavy.
- You have pain that spreads to your arms, back, neck and jaw.
- You feel or are being sick.
If you suspect the symptoms of a heart attack, dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
A heart attack is a serious medical emergency. Don't worry if you have doubts. Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake than be too late to save a person's life.
Signs of stroke - FAST
A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
The FAST acronym was created to help you remember the main warning signs of stroke and to act immediately by dialling 112 or 999.
FAST stands for:
Face - Has their face fallen on one side. Can they smile?
Arms - Can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
Speech – is their speech slurred?
Time - To call 112 or 999 if you see any single one of these signs.
Signs of cancer
Early diagnosis can improve cancer outcomes.
Phone your GP if you notice any of the following:
- a new lump or bump
- a changing lump or bump
- abnormal bleeding
- changes on your skin
- unexpected weight loss
- you are constantly tired
Prescriptions and collecting medicines
New temporary changes mean:
- your GP can send your prescription to your pharmacist - you do not need to get a paper copy
- some prescriptions will be valid for 9 months - your GP or pharmacist will be able to tell you by phone
- you may be able to get a repeat prescription without a new script – phone your pharmacist to discuss this
Do not go to collect medicines if you have COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms.
Phone your pharmacist and ask a family member to collect your prescription.
There is no disruption to the supply of medicines. There is no need to order more medicines than you need. If you do, it will affect the supply of medicines to others.