Health Board urges patients ‘help us, help you’

People looking to enjoy Christmas and New Year are being encouraged to use the correct NHS service should they become injured or unwell.

Swansea Bay University Health Board is urging patients to ‘help us, help you’ by remembering that the Emergency Department is for life threatening accidents and emergencies only and there are a number of other health services available to help people over the festive period.

What service should I use?


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If you want some expert advice quickly, try a pharmacist as your first port of call. Visiting your local pharmacy is a great way to access prompt advice and treatments for common conditions, especially after GP surgeries have closed for the day and on the weekends.

Some of the work traditionally done by GPs is now done by pharmacists instead. This includes giving prescription-only medications for a number of common ailments when necessary without the need to see a doctor. And, like other medications in Wales, these are also free.

You have to register with the pharmacy to use the scheme, which is called the Common Ailments scheme, but the process only takes a few minutes. 

Consultations are carried out in a private room and if the pharmacist decides you still need to see a doctor, they will refer you.

111 Telephone Service

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If you’re really not sure what to do, NHS 111 is available for advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So if you think you might need to go to the Emergency Department or need another NHS urgent care service, don’t know who to call for medical help or need information about a health issues, give them a call.

You can also go online at:


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If tooth or gum pain develops contact your own dentist as they can provide emergency treatment. If you are not registered with a practice or develop a problem outside of normal working hours ring 111 and they will help you find your nearest emergency dentist.


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Your local opticians can provide emergency appointments and can refer to the eye department at the hospital if required, with no need to see a GP.

Minor Injuries Unit

Neath Port Talbot Hospital (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Anyone over the age of one who have had an accident within the last couple of weeks can be seen at the Minor Injury Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital,

It is open between 7.30am and 11.00pm, seven days a week, at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Baglan Way, Port Talbot, SA12 7BX. Contact number: 01639 862160

An experienced team of specially-trained emergency nurse practitioners, triage nurses and health care support workers treat patients for minor conditions including sprains and strains and broken bones.

If you have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury ring 999 or go to the Emergency Department at Morriston Hospital. This includes chest pains, severe breathing difficulties, a head injury, loss of consciousness or collapse, stroke symptoms, poisoning or choking.

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