If you are going away over the upcoming long weekends or just having a few days off with the family, it is important to know what your local health and care services are and when to use them.


Pharmacies offer a lot more than just a place to collect a prescription – they can advise you on how to treat a variety of minor illnesses or conditions. There are over 150 in Dorset alone so you will always have one near-by. What’s more pharmacies in Dorset have private consultation rooms so you can speak with them in confidence if you need to.

No matter where you are, you can search for your nearest pharmacy on www.nhs.uk.

Need to see a doctor?

If you need to see a Doctor but can’t get to your local practice you may be able to be seen outside of normal practice hours.

Call 111 and if appropriate, the advisor will be able to schedule you an appointment with a GP – it may not be your usual one –  at a local venue. If you could be better treated elsewhere, they will be able to direct you to the best place to suit your needs. 111 is free to call at all times.

Experiencing a mental health problem?

If you are affected by a mental health issue over the bank holidays and are not already known to local mental health services, call 111 or contact your GP. If you are a service user already, you can access services via your Community Mental Health Team or the out of hours GP service.

Accessing social care out of hours 

Dorset Council and BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) Council both offer out of hours’ access to social care for adults and children. These services can provide emergency cover and access to essential services at times when other services may be closed.

Further information can be found on their respective website or by calling

  • Dorset Council – 01305 858250
  • BCP Council – Adult Social Care – 01202 657279
  • BCP Council – Children’s Social Care – 01202 738256

Emergency care

If you or someone you are with finds themselves in a life-threatening situation call 999 and ask for an ambulance. You will be taken to most appropriate place for your needs which in some case may not be your nearest hospital.

If you need urgent care which isn’t life threatening search www.nhs.uk for your nearest Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre.

To find more details of local services visit https://www.nhs.uk/service-search.