Health Services, doctors and emergencies
If you or someone else has an accident and needs emergency treatment, dial 999 for an ambulance or go tothe Emergency Department at York Hospital. They also treat minor injuries. For drug/alcohol first aid, see here. For emergency dental treatment, contact your dentist (see below for information about finding a dentist).
If you need to see a doctor, make an appointment to see a GP at your doctor’s surgery. If you are not registered with a GP, see below. If you need health advice or are not sure what health service you need, ring NHS 111 (Tel. 111) to speak to a health professional at any time. In an emergency, ring 999.
There is also an Out of Hours GP Service at York Hospital – based at the Emergency Department. They are open in the evenings, overnight, weekends and bank holidays. You will need to phone NHS 111 (Tel. 111) for an appointment – this is not a drop-in service.
Registering with a doctor
From the age of 16 you can, if you wish, register with a GP practice in your own right (also called a medical centre or GP surgery). Take your medical card with you if you have one. You can also change to another practice – you don’t have to give a reason for changing.
You can get a list of the doctors in your area from NHS 111 (Tel. 111). If you are away from home and need a doctor, you can register as a temporary patient. If you are homeless, you can still register with a doctor.
Confidentiality and consent
See here for more information about consent and medical treatment (including contraception) if you are under 16.
Free prescriptions and NHS treatment
For details about free prescriptions, dental treatment and help with eye tests etc, look at www.gov.uk (search for ‘help with health costs’). You should be entitled to free prescriptions if you are:
- Under 16 or aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full time education
- Pregnant and for 12 months after the birth
- On Universal Credit (though if you have any earnings, further rules apply)
- On Income Support, income-based JSA or income related ESA
Most people entitled to free prescriptions are also entitled to free eye tests and vouchers towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses. You can get an eye test from any optician, and can use the vouchers where you like. Get a copy of your prescription to take with you.
If you are not getting one of these benefits but are still on a low income you may still be entitled to free or cheaper prescriptions etc. You have to claim under the Low Income Scheme on form HC1.
Dental treatment is free on the NHS to people under 18, and to most other people who get free prescriptions. If you don’t have a dentist or want to change the one you have, you can get details from NHS 111 (Tel. 111) or search on www.nhs.uk for those accepting new patients near you.
Even if you’re not entitled to free treatment, you can register as an NHS patient (though some dentists only take private patients). If you are registered as an NHS patient treatment is cheaper. Otherwise if you are a private patient, ask about payment schemes that allow you to spread the cost.