Alternatives to Accident & Emergency

Out of Hours Services


If you have an urgent medical problem when we are closed and you can’t wait until the next working day to see your doctor, you should call NHS 111 for the out of hours GP service.


If you need urgent dental care and are a regular patient of a dental practice please contact your dental surgery and an answer-phone message will give you details of where and when emergency treatment is available.

If you are not a regular patient of a dental practice, please contact the emergency dentist on 0300 123 4010 service.

Please note that emergency dental treatment can only be provided for trauma and emergencies. All requests will be assessed over the telephone before an appointment can be arranged.

Other health services

There are lots of health services available across the district when you are feeling unwell and it is important to contact or visit the right place, at the right time to make sure you get the treatment you need. These are other services that may be able to help you out of normal working hours:

  • Pharmacy services – your pharmacist (or chemist) is qualified to give health advice and suggest remedies without an appointment for a whole range of illnesses. For example, if you suffer from minor aliments such as coughs, cold, headaches, indigestion, sickness and diarrhoea or heartburn, the pharmacy should be the first place you visit. There will always be a pharmacy open over weekends and Bank Holidays.  Many common illnesses and minor ailments can be easily treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
  • NHS 111 – is available 24 hours a day if you are feeling ill and are unsure what to do.
  • NHS walk-in centre / Minor Injuries Unit– for the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, such as sprains, insect bites, burns, colds and infections. These are located at Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre, Accrington Victoria Hospital or Burnley General Hospital. No appointment is necessary; you just need to walk in and will see you as soon as possible.
  • 999 – Should only be used in emergencies for people who are seriously ill or injured and need time-critical help. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening condition that may include loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties or heavy loss of blood. Calling 999 does not mean that you will be seen quicker when you arrive at A&E.  All patients are seen on the basis of medical need.
  • You can check also your symptoms online now – health and symptom checkers on the NHS website.

Please remember

You should only visit Accident and Emergency (A&E) in the case of real life or limb threatening emergencies. Going straight to A&E can put the emergency services and hospitals under added pressure, and unnecessary use of the service could prevent someone whose condition is more serious from getting immediate treatment.