It’s horrible to feel under the weather, particularly if you have been unwell for days, weeks or even months on end.
The most important thing is to seek medical advice. If it’s not an emergency, contact your GP or health clinic and arrange an appointment.
You may also wish to visit the NHS Wales 111 Wales website, which can be used to help direct people to the most appropriate source of help and healthcare.
Out of hours advice
If you think you need a doctor, telephone your GP surgery even if it is closed. A recorded message should direct you to the out of hours service covering your surgery.
If you have specific symptoms, but are not sure if it is an emergency or not, contact NHS 111 Wales for advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Call: 111 for all options, including Language Line, Relay 24 and Sign Video (available 24 hours a day).
You might prefer to do a self-assessment based on your symptoms.
If you are in severe pain or have injuries which need urgent medical attention, go straight to your local accident and emergency department.
Anyone with dental pain should contact their own dentist (during working hours), If you do not have a regular dentist, contact NHS 111 Wales for an assessment, advice and signposting to the most appropriate source of care.
If you have dental pain, you can check your own symptoms on NHS 111 Wales
An emergency is a situation where someone:
- is unconscious
- is losing a lot of blood
- is struggling to breath
- may have had a heart attack
- has been seriously injured
- has been badly burned
In an emergency, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you are unsure if it is an emergency or not, contact NHS 111 Wales on 111.
Returning from overseas
With foreign travel so commonplace, it’s easy to ignore the risk of picking up an infectious disease while you’re away. Diseases like malaria, dengue fever, typhoid and yellow fever are still prevalent in many parts of the world and vaccinations do not protect you against everything.
Symptoms of some infectious diseases do not present themselves for weeks or even months after your return so if you experience symptoms like headaches, nausea, fever, shaking, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhoea and have travelled abroad recently, remember to tell your doctor.
For more information about travel vaccinations visit NHS 111 Wales.
The Foreign Office provides detailed information about the health risks in individual countries.
Going into hospital
If you need to go into hospital suddenly, take your medication, a small amount of money and your toilet bag. Don’t forget your door keys.
If you are looking after someone
An emergency plan sets out what would happen if there was an emergency and you were unable to continue in your caring role in the short-term or for longer.
Carers Wales can provide emergency cards or key fobs to carers to let emergency workers and others know that someone relies on them as a carer. The card has space for emergency contacts, e.g. family and friends who can help.
It’s also a good idea to ask your GP to write in your notes that you are a carer.
The Red Cross has produced two free apps:
a first aid app which covers 19 first aid skills which could help others in an emergency
a baby and child first aid app to help you keep your little ones safe
Once the apps are downloaded, no internet access is needed.
St John Ambulance has also produced many Learn First Aid short films, which are available on YouTube.