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As we approach the Easter holiday, we are sharing with our community where to get the right treatment.

There are lots of places available to you, should you need medical support over Easter. 


Dozens of pharmacies will be open across the bank holiday weekend – Good Friday (March 29), Easter Sunday (March 31) and Easter Monday (April 1).

Along with advice on minor illnesses and over the counter medicines, many pharmacies are now able to treat the following seven conditions: shingles, sore throats, infected insect bites, earaches, sinusitis, impetigo and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI).

You can find your nearest pharmacy here 👉

Here are six top tips to get the best care and most appropriate support for your health needs if you or anyone you care for becomes unwell this Easter:

  1. Please remember - the Emergency Department (ED) is for emergencies only, not convenience.
  2. Contact 111 online and let the experts help you if you are not sure where to access the most appropriate help for you.
  3. Urgent treatment centres in Portsmouth, Gospor,  Petersfield and Southamptonare best for urgent but not life-threatening illnesses and minor injuries.
  4. Use the expert help available at dozens of pharmacies which will be open over the three-day bank holiday.
  5. Look after yourself – being ready to care for yourself can be a great help by visiting for health and medicines advice
  6. Make use of online help – try our NHS website for local advice and if you are concerned about an unwell child.

You can also download a free Easter colouring sheet with some top health tips for your child. Make sure to stick their wonderful creations on the fridge!

What is a Pharmacy?

A Pharmacy is a place where medicines are given out. 

Pharmacists work there and they can offer support, advice and medicine. 

How can a Pharmacy help me?

As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can offer health advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as:

  • aches and pains
  • insect bites
  • coughs, colds and sore throats
  • flu
  • earache
  • vomiting and diarrhoea 
  • cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • skin rashes
  • teething
  • red eye

If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

All pharmacists train for 5 years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

How do I find my nearest Pharmacy?

You can find your nearest pharmacy here -

More information

You can also get:

What is NHS 111?

NHS 111 is a service that makes it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare.

NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year online and by phone. 

Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones.

How can NHS 111 help me?

If you aren't sure where to go to get help, contact NHS 111 online or by phone.

Depending on your symptoms, you might get a callback from a nurse. You cannot request a callback.

You might be advised to:

  • go to an urgent treatment centre or A&E
  • get help from an evening and weekend GP
  • contact an emergency dentist
  • get urgent specialist mental health support
  • look after yourself at home

How do I contact NHS 111?

Via phone - type 111 and press call

Online - visit

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:

For help in other languages

  • you can 111 and ask for an interpreter

You can also get:

NHS 111 online is available in England only.

What is a GP?

A GP stands for General Practitioner and they are doctors that work at a GP surgery or GP practice. 

GP surgeries have teams of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and social prescribers, who can help you. 

How can a GP surgery help me?

The teams at GP surgeries can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services.

You can book appointments via phone or some surgeries offer online contact services called eConsult - Search for your eConsult NHS GP practice | Contact your doctors


Before you make an appointment to see your GP, consider the alternatives.

Your local pharmacist may be able to give you the help you need, so you won't have to spend time waiting for an appointment.

Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals, and may offer a wider range of health services than you think. You can find out more about Pharmacists here. 

How do I register with a GP surgery?

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery. It's free to register.

You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

You can find out to register with a GP surgery here - How to register with a GP surgery - NHS (

More information

What is an Urgent Treatment Centre?

Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) can help with urgent illnesses or injuries but that are not life-threatening.

Other types of urgent care services are called minor injuries units or walk-in centres. They offer some of the same help as urgent treatment centres. 

How can an Urgent Treatment Centre help me?

Urgent Treatment Centres can diagnose and deal with many of the most common problems people go to the Emergency Department (ED) for.

These are things like: 

  • broken bones and sprains
  • injuries, cuts and bruises
  • stomach pain 
  • skin infections and rashes
  • high temperature (fever) in children and adults

If a doctor decides you need a prescription, they can organise one for you. Emergency contraception is also available.

Please note that UTCs can only do x-rays for limbs. 

How do I find my nearest Urgent Treatment Centre?

Your closest UTCs are:

  • St Mary's Health Campus (PO3 6DW): 8am to 8pm. (GP onsite)
  • Gosport War Memorial Hospital (PO12 3PW): 8am to 10pm.
  • Petersfield Community Hospital (GU32 3LB): 8am to 8pm. 

Visit My Journey Portsmouth to find out how you can get to your closest UTC -

Do I need an appointment?  

You do not need an appointment to visit most urgent care services.

You do not need to be registered with a GP or have a fixed address to use any urgent care service.

If you use NHS 111 and an urgent care service is recommended, they may book you an attendance time so the UTC know you are coming. 

Although this is not a booked appointment, it should save time booking in when you get there.

I am not sure if I need urgent help? 

NHS 111 online can help if you are not sure what service you might need. If an urgent care service is not right for your problem, you will be offered alternative services.

Visit Get help for your symptoms - NHS 111

More information


What is an Emergency Department?

An Emergency Department (ED), also known as accident and emergency or casualty, deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies.

EDs offer access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staff including nurses, healthcare assistants, doctors, diagnostic radiographers, reception staff and porters.

Medical staff are highly trained in all aspects of emergency medicine.

When should I go to the Emergency Department?

The Emergency Department is for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies only. 

Life-threatening emergencies are different for adults and children.

For adults these include:

  • signs of a heart attack
  • signs of a stroke
  • heavy bleeding
  • seizures

You can find more information here When to call 999 - NHS (

For children these include:

  • seizures
  • choking
  • heavy bleeding
  • severe injuries

You can find more information here When to call 999 - NHS (

If you visit the Emergency Department and it is not a serious injury or life-threatening emergency, the team will redirect you to the most appropriate care. This may include an Urgent Treatment Centre.

When should I call 999?

You should call 999 in a life-threatening emergency only. Life-threatening emergencies are different for adults and children. Please see above for further details or visit When to call 999 - NHS (

British Sign Language (BSL) speakers can make a BSL video call to 999.

Deaf people can use 18000 to contact 999 using text relay.

When it's not a life threatening emergency

Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) can help with many of the most common problems people go to the Emergency Department for.

You can find out more about UTCs and the closest ones to you on our website.

 I am not sure where to go? 

NHS 111 can help if you think you need medical help right now but you're not sure what to do.

If you do need to go to the Emergency Department, NHS 111 can book an arrival time so they know you are coming. An arrival time is not an appointment but helps to avoid overcrowding. 

Check your symptoms on 111 online, or call 111 to speak to someone if you need help for a child under 5.

More information