Choose Well

When searching for healthcare, 'Choosing Well' is about making the right choice for you, your friends and family. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to go, who to see and how to get there.

Using a colour coded thermometer, the Choose Well campaign aims to help you know about the range of services available, starting with self care and working up to a genuine emergency.

If you become unwell or are injured, make sure you choose the right NHS service to ensure you get the best and most appropriate treatment.

The thermometer below helps direct patients to the service best suited to their illness or condition and as it illustrates, when the temperature of a situation rises, so does the urgency level of care you need to receive.


Choose well thermometer logo

999/Emergency Department
A&E (also called Emergency Department) and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E doctors are specialists in treating life-threatening illness and injuries.

Urgent Care Centre/Minor Injuries Unit/Health Access Centre
Walk-in centres offer convenient access to a range of treatment for minor illnesses and injuries including infections, rashes, lacerations, emergency contraception and advice, stomach upsets, cuts, bruises, burns and strains. You will be seen by an experienced nurse and don’t need an appointment.

GP/Health Access Centre
If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment and offer same day appointments for urgent problems. Home visits can be made if essential. You can contact a GP or nurse when your surgery is closed, for urgent medical problems that cannot wait until the surgery is open again.

Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for common illnesses and complaints, including emergency contraception, without the need to visit your GP or go to A&E.

To find your nearest chemist, simply text "pharmacy" to 64746 to receive three free texts with details of your nearest chemist.

NHS Direct
Confused? Unwell? For confidential health advice and
information around the clock, visit NHS-111-online or call 111.

Self Care
Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.