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Choose Better

The Choose Better campaign is designed to help people choose the best place to get treatment if they fall ill, freeing up emergency services to help those most in need.

Research has shown that a significant number of people still go to a hospital accident and emergency department when there are other services more convenient and suitable for their health needs.

The campaign uses a colour coded 'thermometer' which runs from blue to red, blue - reflecting minor health problems, red - a medical emergency, to help people associate the severity of their symptoms with a particular NHS service. Below is a breakdown of the type of healthcare available and when people should use it:

  • Self care: Keep a well stocked medicine cabinet for treatment of minor illnesses or ailments and get plenty of rest.
  • NHS 111 and out of hours: For all urgent health questions, 24-hours a day. Call 111.
  • Pharmacist: For expert advice and treatment for a wide range of minor illnesses and ailments and the best medicines to treat them. To find your nearest pharmacy or to check opening hours and rotas, click here
  • GPs: For expert medical advice, medical examinations and prescriptions for illnesses. Your GP can also refer you to a specialist for further treatment if necessary. To access out of hours GP services call 111. If you are not registered with a GP, visit to find your nearest one.
  • Walk-in Centre: For treatment of cuts, bruises, minor infections, stomach upsets, strains and skin complaints without an appointment - Cardrew Industrial Estate, Redruth, TR15 1SS. Open 8am to 8pm. Tel 01209 340997.
  • West Cornwall Hospital Urgent Care Centre: For minor and moderate injuries such as burns and scalds, fractures to legs, arms, ankles and wrists and lacerations that require stitching. It can carry out X-rays and initiate treatment for more serious injuries. Open 24 hours a day. Tel 01736 874113.
  • Minor Injury Unit: For treatment of a wide range of minor ailments and minor injuries from cuts and grazes to sprains and strains and broken bones without an appointment.
  • Accident and Emergency (A&E) or 999: For a critical or life-threatening situation. Local A&E departments are located at:
    • Truro: Royal Cornwall Hospital 01872 250 000
    • Plymouth: Derriford Hospital 01752 777 111
    • Barnstaple: North Devon District Hospital 01271 322 577 

Outside the normal hours of your GP surgery, emergency clinic appointments are available at Bodmin, Cambourne-Redruth, Falmouth, Helston, Truro, Launceston, Liskeard, Newquay, St. Austell, Stratton, and Penzance. Please phone 111 for further assistance if you need advice or need to see a clinician via an appointment system, or as a home visit for patients unable to attend a clinic in any of these areas.    

Accident and Emergency (A&E) or 999: For a critical or life-threatening situation.

It is important people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

To find out more about your local NHS Choices website, click here and use the 'Find and Choose Services' section.

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