If we all use NHS services wisely, we can keep well this winter and get the care we need quickly, safely and as close to home as possible.
Phone NHS 24 on 111 for urgent care
If you think you need to visit A&E but it's not life threatening, you can now phone NHS 24 on 111, day or night.
Urgent advice: Phone 111 if you:
- think you need to go to A&E but it's not life threatening
- are too ill to wait for your GP practice to open
- have worsening symptoms of coronavirus
NHS 24 will help you get the right care in the right place, often closer to home and without the need to go to A&E. This may include a phone or video consultation.
Or, you can still contact your GP practice as normal during opening hours.
If it's a life threatening emergency, you should phone 999 or go directly to A&E.
Different ways to access NHS 24 on 111
You can access urgent care from NHS 24 on 111 in different ways.
If English isn't your first or preferred language, you can use the free interpretation service Language Line.
British Sign Language (BSL)
If you use British Sign Language (BSL), you can use the free BSL interpreting video relay service contactSCOTLAND-BSL.
More information about Right care right place in BSL.
If you use a textphone you can contact NHS 24 on 18001 111.
Or, you can contact NHS 24 with the Relay UK app.
Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)
If you think you need to visit a MIU, you should call NHS 24 on 111. NHS 24 will direct you to the best care for your needs. A MIU can help if you:
- have a cut
- have a minor burn
- have a sprain or strain
- think you have broken or fractured a bone
Visiting a MIU can often be quicker than going to A&E.
Looking after yourself
Taking a few simple steps now will help you cope better if you become ill this winter. You can be prepared for common illnesses by:
- making sure your repeat prescriptions are up to date
- having basic remedies for cold and flu at home
- getting the flu vaccine if you're eligible
We provide accurate and reliable health information to help you make informed decisions.
You can access our information on topics such as:
Community health care services
The way we access community health care services has also changed due to coronavirus. Community health care services include pharmacies, GP practices, dentists and optometrists (opticians).
- speak to your local pharmacy for advice about minor illnesses, treatments and medication
- contact your local optician if you have an eye problem
- use our self-help guides for everyday illnesses
- contact your GP practice, optician or dentist by phone or online first
- follow physical distancing measures if you're attending in person
- do not visit your GP practice, optician or dentist without an appointment
- do not arrive too early or too late for your appointment
- do not attend in person if you, or someone you live with, have symptoms of coronavirus
If you are isolating and have a non-covid health concern which cannot wait until your isolation time period ends, please contact your GP practice, local hospital or outpatient service to discuss what actions you should take.
Mental health support
Our mental health resources include:
- advice on dealing with low mood, anxiety, phobias and stress
- where to get help
- ideas for improving your wellbeing
If you're struggling with your mental health or need emotional support, you can phone Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87. Breathing Space is available on weekdays from 6.00pm to 2.00am and at weekends from Friday 6.00pm to Monday 6.00am.
For urgent mental health support, phone NHS 24 on 111, day or night.
If you have developed symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The most common symptoms are new:
- continuous cough
- fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
- loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
A new continuous cough is where you:
- have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
- have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
- are coughing more than usual
A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.
Your household should isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms.
Only phone NHS 24 on 111 if:
- your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
- breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
- your symptoms haven’t improved in 10 days
Scotland's Service Directory
If you need help to find the right care in the right place, use Scotland’s Service Directory. It has the names, addresses, opening times and service details for a wide range of NHS services in Scotland.