A&E is for life-threatening accidents and emergencies only. Before you go there, ask yourself, "Is it a real emergency?" If not, there are other local health services in Bedfordshire that can provide you with the help and care you need. Save time and find the right NHS service that will help you best. See the list of alternative options below.
Test your knowledge using our interactive scratch card based on common health complications.
Watch our video to find the best healthcare service to use when you or a loved one feels unwell.
Self care at home is the right choice for most minor illnesses and injuries such as coughs, colds, stomach upsets, sore throats and headaches: usually plenty of fluids and proper rest is enough to help you feel better. Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with essentials and if you have children, make sure you’ve got the right medicines according to their age. Keep a first aid kit stocked with:
Pharmacists are a great source of professional, confidential health advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait to see a GP or A&E. Just give them a call or drop in – there’s no need to make an appointment.
There are 72 pharmacies in Bedfordshire and many open late in the evening, at weekends and bank holidays. Search for your local pharmacy and its opening times here.
Your local family doctor or GP (General Practitioner) provide a wide range of health services and support for all sorts of illnesses or injuries. Nurses and health care assistants often work alongside the GPs to help support patients' everyday health.
Many GP practices are now open for longer hours and offer emergency appointments each day for patients with more urgent conditions. If you need to see a GP outside opening hours, just call your practice as normal and you will be directed to the out of hours service. Click here for more information on your local GP.
The types of health services provided by GP practices include:
If you require a doctor outside of surgery hours please telephone 111.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number which is fast, easy and free. By calling 111 you will get to 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. NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
In a genuine emergency you should call 999.
The majority of patients are seen within one hour of booking into the Walk In Centre. Waits in the Accident and Emergency Department for non-urgent problems may be much longer as the most ill patients are seen first, so if you have a minor illness or minor injury please attend the Walk In Centre rather than the local Accident and Emergency Department.
Routine prescriptions cannot be provided and is not appropriate for patients with long term medical conditions.
If you have had symptoms for over two weeks, you may book into the Walk In Centre for assessment, but might need to go back to your own GP for further care.
The Walk In Centre is a nurse-led service. A GP is always available if clinically required, but you are most likely to be seen by a Minor Illness Specialist Nurse in the first instance.
The Walk In Centre can help with:
We are unable to help with:
The Walk-In Centre and Bedoc (BEDFORD ON CALL - GP OUT OF HOURS SERVICE) are not able to issue repeat prescriptions. This is because there is no access to your clinical records, and there could be safety issues when prescriptions are issued by doctors who are unfamiliar with your care and medication history.
You must take responsibility to ensure you have enough medication to last you through weekends and Bank Holidays.
The Walk In Centre or Bedoc GP may refuse to issue a prescription. The only exception will be emergency supplies of some medication that is needed for patient safety reasons. In such cases only a small amount of medication (up to one week) will be prescribed and you will need to see you own GP for further supplies.
If you require a prescription for a controlled drug 3 days supply may be prescribed at the GPs discretion but may be refused.
Repeat Prescriptions for tranquilisers and pain killers will not be issued by this service.
Walk in Centre Opening Times:
Daily (Incl. Bank Holidays) 8.00am - 6.30pm
Medical Centre Appointments
Mon - Fri 8.30am - 6.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 11.00am
Medical Centre Reception Desk
Daily 8.00am - 7.00pm
Medical Centre Telephones
Mon - Fri 8.00am - 6.30pm
Enquiries 01234 319992
Appointments 01234 319993
Home Visits or emergencies: 01234 319991
To register 01234 319992
Out of Hours 0345 8500734
Information line 01234 221977.
Putnoe Medical Centre
93 Queens Drive