Effective healthcare requires a little planning, so that you have all the information you need should you feel ill or have an emergency.

You and any dependents (such as a child) should be:

  • Registered with a doctor’s surgery near your home.
  • Registered with an NHS or private dentist surgery for annual check-ups.
  • Registered with an NHS or private opticians for annual check-ups.

NHS Direct (on 0845 46 47) or your local Health Authority will be able to provide information on services in your area.

Keep the following information to hand, either near the telephone or pinned up in the kitchen:

  • Emergency Services telephone number 999 – for ambulance, police and fire brigade in case of genuine emergency.
  • Telephone number and name of your doctor and the doctor’s surgery.
  • NHS Direct telephone number 0845 46 47 – for 24 Hour information and advice.
  • Telephone number and name of your dentist.
  • Telephone number and name of your optician.

Keep a file to contain healthcare information and paperwork such as:

  • Birth Certificate.
  • Immunisation records.
  • All written communications with health professionals, for example hospital, doctors, dentist, optician, maternity records, family planning clinic.

National Health Service

Most young people can get free medical advice and access to services including doctors, dentists and opticians. You don’t have to pay for things like prescriptions or spectacles if:

  • You are on Income Support or Family Credit.
  • You have an exemption certificate for certain medical conditions.
  • You are pregnant or have a child under one year old.
  • You are under 16 or under 19 and in full time education.

If you want to know more about the NHS and what it offers there is a helpful guide on the NHS website. Or you could contact your local Health Authority.

NHS Direct

If you want advice on a particular medical problem you can contact NHS Direct by telephone on 0845 46 47 or email. NHS Direct operates a 24-hour nurse advice and health information service, providing confidential information on:

  • What to do if you or your family are feeling ill.
  • Particular health conditions including sexually transmitted infections.
  • Local healthcare services, such as: no appointment needed NHS walk-in. centres, late night pharmacies, doctors or dentists.
  • Self-help and support organisations.

Private Healthcare

There is a growing market in private healthcare with high profile organisations such as BUPA and Private Healthcare UK. It has become especially popular for people not wanting to use NHS facilities, for example to avoid operation waiting lists or when expecting a baby.

You have to pay for private health care, it can be very expensive. Most people wanting to use these services have private healthcare insurance to cover these costs.

Blood and Organ Donation

If you’re thinking about giving blood why not pop in to your local blood donor session where they will be able to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. You can find out where your local sessions are and get more information about giving blood and donating bone marrow on the National blood service website or by calling 0845 7711 711.

If you want to find out more about organ donation take a look at the NHS UK Transplant website Here you will find lots of information which should be able to answer any questions you might have about becoming an organ donor.

Who can help?

Visit the NHS web site at or call the NHS Direct helpline on 0845 46 47 with any problems you may have.

You can contact NHS Direct which provides high quality health information and advice for people and is supported by a 24 hour nurse advice and information helpline.

The National Blood Service website will give you lots of information if you are thinking about, donating blood or bone marrow.

The NHS UK Transplant website is packed with information for anybody who is thinking of becoming an organ donor.

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