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Help us to help you – accessing our services

Our services are under pressure, please help us to help you by choosing how you access our services carefully, so that we are only seeing people with urgent or emergency care needs in our emergency departments (A&E).

Unwell and unsure what to do?

If you are unwell and unsure what to do, you can visit the online symptom checker (opens in new tab) to cross-check your symptoms against a number of common ailments and if directed call NHS 111 Wales.

When to attend an emergency department (A&E)

Only attend an Emergency Department if you have a life-threatening illness or serious injury, such as: 

  • Severe breathing difficulties 
  • Severe pain or bleeding 
  • Chest pain or a suspected stroke 
  • Serious trauma injuries (eg. from a car crash) 

When to attend a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)

If you have a less serious injury, then please visit one of our Minor Injury Units. They can treat adults and children over 12-months of age, with injuries such as:

  • Minor wounds 
  • Minor burns or scalds 
  • Insect bites 
  • Minor limb, head, or face injuries 
  • Foreign bodies in the nose or ear 

We have minor injury or walk-in services at Cardigan Integrated Care Centre, Tenby Hospital as well as at our main acute hospitals. For opening hours and journey planners, please check our Minor Injury Unit page (opens in new tab).

Urgent care but not an emergency

If you have urgent care needs that cannot wait but are not 999 emergencies, please dial 111 for NHS Direct Wales for health advice and support. The number is free to call and this service is available even when your GP surgery is open. 111 is also the number you need to access out-of-hours GP services across our area.

You can find out more about alternative services on our Urgent and out of hours page (opens in new tab).

Urgent mental health support

If you need to talk to someone urgently about your mental health, or you’re concerned about a family member, call NHS 111 Wales and select option 2. You will be connected directly to a mental health professional in your area. The number is free to call from a landline or mobile, even if you have no credit on your phone.

Accessing care in your community

Many community pharmacies can also provide walk-in, common ailment or triage and treat services without an appointment. Find further information on our Pharmacy web pages (opens in new tab). 

Your pharmacist can also provide free confidential NHS advice and treatment for a range of common ailments without you having to make an appointment to see your GP.

The list of common ailments includes: indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, piles, hay fever, head lice, teething, nappy rash, colic, chicken pox, threadworms, sore throat, athlete’s foot, eye infections, conjunctivitis, intertrigo, mouth ulcers, cold sores, acne, dry skin/dermatitis,  ringworm, verruca, back pain, ingrowing toenails, vaginal thrush, oral thrush and scabies.

A list of pharmacies that participate in the Common Ailments Service is available on our Common ailments service pages (opens in new tab).

Staying in hospital for as little as possible

Together with our partners in local authorities, the third sector and Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, our focus is on making sure that only the patients who need to be in our are in our acute hospitals and busy emergency departments. We also need to reduce the amount of time patients need to spend in a hospital bed, by providing as much non-emergency and follow up care outside of the hospital environment as we can.

If you have a friend, family member or loved one who is medically well enough to be discharged from hospital, please help us by coming to pick them up promptly. This will allow us to free up beds faster for acutely unwell patients and keep the patient flow steady through our hospitals.

To find out more about the inpatient experience please visit our Inpatient information pages (opens in new tab).

Thank you

Your support not only helps you and your loved one, but it is a huge support to the NHS and social care services as well.

Please help us to make our service safer by sharing this information with friends and family.