GPs, hospitals and other parts of the health service are open and seeing patients. You can also get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone.
All health services have precautions in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). There may be changes to appointments and services because of the steps we are taking to keep everyone safe.
It's important to get medical help if you need it. Do not ignore or delay getting medical treatment for any unusual signs or symptoms that you may be experiencing.
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
Prepare for the months ahead by:
- checking your medicines
- getting your prescription
- knowing how to access any health services you may need
Prescriptions and collecting medicines
Your GP can send your prescription to your pharmacist. You do not need to get a paper copy. This is a temporary change during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There may be a short delay in the prescription being sent to the pharmacy. It may be sent later in the day. Phone the pharmacy to check if it's ready for collection before you go.
Do not go to the pharmacy if you:
- have COVID-19
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- are waiting for a COVID-19 test or test results
- are a close contact of a case of COVID-19
- are restricting your movements
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.
Last updated: 01 February 2020 at 3.25pm