Choose well - help us to help those who need us most


Sometimes we see an increase in the number of people visiting our A&E department. This extra demand can have a knock on effect that places pressure on the entire health and care system. For this reason we ask you to only visit A&E if you need urgent medical attention for something serious.

There are alternatives to A&E that can provide you with fast, effective treatment in many situations. By choosing the most appropriate service for your situation you are helping us be more effective and provide care to those that need us most.

General Practitioners (GPs)

GPs deal with a whole range of health problems and should be the first place you contact if possible. If your GP cannot deal with a problem, then you'll usually be referred to a hospital for tests, treatment, or to see a consultant with specialist knowledge.

More on GPs

Minor Injuries Units (MIUs)

If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit or urgent care centre, rather than going to an A&E department. MIUs can help with a variety of issues such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor wound infections and minor burns.

Minor injuries units and urgent care centres are usually led by nurses, and an appointment is not necessary.

Stratford MIU

First Aid Centre

Ellen Badger Hospital also has a First Aid Centre that is open from 08:00 to 18:30, Monday to Friday.


Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals. They're experts in medicines, and use their clinical expertise to advise you on common problems, such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. Pharmacists can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional.

Find a pharmacy near you.

NHS 111 service

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals.

They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.