The Royal Devon is preparing for another busy winter across the county, so please help us help you and choose the right service this winter. This could mean using a minor injuries service, local pharmacy, or a GP practice. If you need urgent medical advice or reassurance, you can contact NHS 111 by phone or online at 111.nhs.uk.
Choosing the right service helps reduce pressure on our emergency services, which are for is for urgent, life-threatening conditions. This frees them up to help those who need it most, and also means you can get the care you need as soon as possible. Find out more about what’s available.
Our minor injuries units (MIUs) and walk-in centres (WICs) are available over winter, offering excellent service for when you have a medical problem that’s not critical or life-threatening, including minor cuts and wounds. In most cases, you don’t need an appointment to attend MIUs or WICs, and there’s often no need to call before coming in, although you can contact NHS 111 beforehand to make sure that an MIU or WIC is the best place to help with your health needs.
Pharmacies are also available to offer expert advice and treatments for minor illnesses. It’s also important to make sure you get you check with your GP practice and ensure you have enough of your prescription medication to get you through the bank holidays.
Over Christmas and the New Year, some services will be unavailable, so please contact NHS 111 before travelling to a service, as it may be closed or running reduced hours, and they will be able to advise you on what is open and available. The NHSquicker app also provides up-to-date waiting times and opening hours for local services, based on your location, so you can easily check where your nearest available services are on bank holidays. Visit nhsquicker.co.uk for more information and to download the app.
Getting you home before the holidays
If you’re staying in hospital, our top priority is to help you get better and support you to leave hospital when the time is right. You will only leave hospital when you no longer need hospital care and it is safe to do so. We know that people recover and rehabilitate better at home and, at this time of year in particular, it is important for people to be at home in comfortable surroundings with family and friends.
If you have a family member, a friend or a neighbour in hospital, there are a number of things you can do to help support their discharge from hospital, including staying in contact with the ward they are on so everyone is clear on the expected date of discharge and supporting with any necessary arrangements to provide suitable clothing and shoes for the patient and understanding ongoing medication needs
One of the best ways you can stay safe and help protect your loved ones this winter is to get your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. If you are eligible for the free vaccines, but haven’t got them yet, please consider getting them as soon as possible, as they are there to protect you and can help reduce the risk of you needing to be hospitalised in you catch either virus this winter.
Finally, please help us to help you and your loved ones by not visiting our hospitals and sites if you are showing any symptoms of respiratory diseases (including COVID-19 and flu) or any other infections like norovirus (such as diarrhoea and vomiting).
If you have an outpatient appointment and have symptoms of a virus, please call the number at the top of your letter to postpone your appointment.
Last updated: December 21, 2023