See a Doctor or Healthcare Clinician

Who is the most appropriate professional for your care?

Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your ailment. General Practice work in conjunction with other Primary Care providers such as Opticians and Pharmacists, who can deliver advice and treatment within the Community, so make sure you get to see the right person, at the right time, in the right place.

This may save you time in getting the help you need and avoid arranging an unnecessary appointment with your Doctor.

Have you tried self-care?
Couple looking at a computer

A range of common illnesses such as cold and flu and minor injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. Many patients attend with conditions that would get better with self-care. Studies show that 25-40% of consultations with a GP are unnecessary so it would help if patients only booked an appointment with a GP if they really need to.

Examples of ailments best treated yourself:

  • Upset stomach
  • Grazed knee
  • Common cold
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Colds & Flu

There is a wide variety of helpful Self Care information and resources which could help you to treat your illness without the need for an appointment:

Self-Referral Services – No need to see a GP or Nurse you can refer yourself!
woman on phone with computer

We have provided our patients with a list of services such as Physiotherapy, Sexual Health, Podiatry, General help and advice, money matters, etc that you can self-refer to without the need to see a GP or Nurse. You can normally self-refer by phone, attend a drop in clinic or by completing a self-referral form which you can send via email or post to the service of your choice.

Need a Sick or Fit note?
Sick Black Girl Drinking Hot Tea On Sofa At Home

Emergency appointments cannot be used to obtain a Sick or Fit note

A sick or fit note can be backdated, please discuss this when you see your GP, emergency or urgent appointments should not be used to request sick or fit notes.

Been in Hospital?

If you are off work due to a hospital admission, a sick note can be issued by the hospital to cover the period of time you were in the hospital. Once discharged, your GP can issue a sick note, based on your hospital discharge letter. If you think this is your situation, our Reception team will assist you.

Self-Certificate

If you have been sick for more than four days in a row, but less than seven, you can self–certify your illness using a SC2 form. You can obtain this form from your employer or by visiting the HMRC website. If you are unwell for more than four days you are advised to arrange an appointment to see a Doctor to assess your fitness to work.

How to count sick days

When you work out the number of days that you’ve been sick, you need to count all the days in a row you’ve been sick, including days you don’t normally work such as weekends and public holidays.

Who do I see?

Who do I see?

Doctors

Provides you with information and supporting links for treatments for some of the most common conditions, services, or most suitable healthcare professional that you should see. ‘Who do I see?’, will signpost you to the most appropriate help and care.

Get immediate help from your local pharmacy

Visit a pharmacy for healthcare advice without an appointment

Pharmacist

Your local pharmacist is able to help with minor cuts, sprains, aches and pains, colds and flu, headaches, rashes, cystitis, emergency contraceptive (most pharmacies now offer this service) and other common conditions.

It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete’s foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.

Pharmacy First’ is a national programme to make better use of pharmacy skills and widen the range of services available in local pharmacies.

Under the scheme pharmacies across NHS Ayrshire & Arran should be the first port of call for women suffering from uncomplicated urine infections and people over the age of two with the skin condition, impetigo. For adults aged 18 and over can also visit their pharmacy for treatment for skin infections and shingles.

Everyone can go to their pharmacist for advice or to buy a medicine for a minor illness or ailment. This is a NHS service. It means that if your pharmacist thinks you need it then they can give you a medicine on the NHS. It will also save you making an appointment with your GP simply to get a prescription.

Treat Yourself Better

We support the campaign to encourage people to self-treat minor ailments such as colds and flu. The Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics website is full of information to help people understand when how long they can expect their symptoms to last for, when they need to see a doctor and when they would be better off visiting their local pharmacist for advice. 

No appointment is necessary and your local pharmacist is open late, is available at weekends and many public holidays.

Need help with Social Care?
Mother and child reading

There are lots of services which offer help and support to improve your quality of life and allow you to continue to live in your own home. For example, if you are elderly or disabled, have a long-term health condition or are unwell. However, it can sometimes be confusing to try to work out what help is available and who offers what services.

Dental emergency?
Dentist with patient

For dental emergencies, call the dentist with whom you are registered. You should receive a recorded message advising you of the arrangements that have been made for emergency cover. If you have not registered with a dentist, please try to do so as soon as possible. Dentist’s can perform an appropriate assessment and advise on necessary intervention including use of any antibiotics.

However, if you are not registered with a dental practice and need emergency treatment, please call the NHS Ayrshire and Arran day time Advice Line on 01563 578664.

Or

Advice and information is available by calling the Dental Advice Helpline.

However, if you are unregistered currently and you require emergency treatment, you should contact NHS 24 on 111.

Dental emergencies are acute dental pain, facial or oral swelling, trauma or bleeding from the mouth.

Eye problems?
Optician with patient

Community Optician

Whatever your eye problem your first port of call should be an Optometrist. An Optometrist is the best person to assess urgent eye problems, check for eye disorders and treat eye conditions. They have the professional training and necessary equipment to assess most eye problems.

Opticians can also refer patients to Hospital if and when appropriate.

Find a local Optician in your area (once you are linked to the NHS Inform page, select your local Health Board or local Authority to find an Optician near you).

Eyecare Ayrshire

For sore, itchy, watery, sticky or red eyes – No need to go to your family doctor or A&E

  • The optometrist (high street optician) is the right person to assess your eye problems
  • Eyecare Ayrshire – you can be seen by an optometrist who will examine your eye problems
  • You will then receive any medicine you need FREE of charge from your community pharmacy.

Self-help guide: Eye problems

Find out more about your eye problems, when you can use self-care, and what to do if your condition worsens and you need medical help

If your optician is closed and you can’t wait until it reopens call NHS24 on 111.

If you sustain an eye injury that requires immediate emergency treatment go to your nearest Accident and Emergency.

Feeling low, anxious or stressed?
Unhappy man

Breathing Space was launched in 2002 to address serious concerns about the mental wellbeing of people in Scotland. The service became a national phoneline in 2004.

Breathing Space complements the work of other phone lines and agencies which are endeavouring to reduce suicide rates in Scotland.

Our advisors come from a range of mental health, counselling and social work backgrounds. There is an equal ratio of male to female advisors.

Need help now? Call free on 0800 83 85 87.

Our website also contains lots of help and support for your Mental Wellbeing

Do you have a Mental Health concerns?

Already known to Mental Health Services?

If you are already known to mental health services you contact your local health team directly.

Samaritans

Whether it’s an ‘are you ok?’ at just the right moment, or the midnight support of a trained volunteer; whether it’s better training in the workplace or campaigning for more investment in national and local suicide prevention – we’re here 24/7 during and after a crisis.

Telephone: (calls are FREE ) 116 123

Our website also contains lots of help and support for your Mental Wellbeing

Mental Health crisis?

You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.

Need to speak with someone when the surgery is closed?
Call handler

Call 111

NHS 111 is a free phone service which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It offers you a one-stop number if you have urgent, but not life-threatening, symptoms and want a fast and easy way to get help when you need it. 

You should call 111 if:

  • it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t think it can wait for an appointment with your GP
  • you don’t know who to call for medical help.

For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in the usual way. For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

Medical emergencies can include:

Mental Health crisis?

You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.

It’s important to use A&E only for serious injuries and major emergencies.

For everything else, Minor Injury Units, out-of-hours services and your local pharmacy can also help.

Get immediate help for Minor Injuries

Use your local Minor Injuries Unit if you need medical treatment or advice which does not require a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.

Doctor taking pulse

Some examples of problems they deal with:

  • sprains and strains
  • suspected broken limbs
  • minor head injuries
  • cuts and grazes
  • bites and stings
  • minor scalds and burns
  • ear and throat infections
  • skin infections and rashes
  • eye problems
  • coughs and colds
  • feverish illness in adults
  • feverish illness in children
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • emergency contraception
Arrange an appointment with one of our Nursing team

The Advanced Nurse Practitioner (only available at The Three Towns Medical Practice) can treat patients over 3 years old for the following; coughs, colds, chest infections, sore throats, ear infections, sinusitis, urine infections, diarrhoea/vomiting, skin infections, minor injuries, minor skin rashes, impetigo, abscesses, burns, hay fever constipation, haemorrhoids, vaginal bleeding problems, breast exams.

British nurse taking senior man's blood pressure

See the Practice Nurse about: Cervical smears, dressings, family planning advice, contraceptives, minor wounds, immunisations, diabetes management, asthma care, COPD, heart care, smoking cessation, free health checks for 40-70 year olds, travel health vaccines/advice.

The Practice Nurse can also prescribe:

  • oral contraceptive pill
  • nicotine replacement therapy

The Health Care Assistant can deal with the following: venepuncture (taking blood samples) over 16’s, Blood Pressure, Hypertension and Kidney reviews, basic wound dressings, suture removal, H Pylori breath test, ECG, Ear Syringing, B12 injections.

The Nursing team, complements the service that we offer to you, our patients. Please be assured that a Doctor’s appointment will always be available should you prefer, but you may get an earlier appointment if you opt to consult with one of the Nursing team.

Call: The Three Towns Medical Practice on 01294 464141 West Kilbride Medical Practice 01294 823607.

To arrange an appointment with a nurse and you may be seen more quickly.

Need medical advice or treatment from one of our Doctors?
Doctor and patient

Some patients, often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an appointment with a doctor.

Call your surgery for an appointment:

The Three Towns Medical Practice01294 464141
West Kilbride Medical Practice01294 823607
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