General health advice

In this section you'll find:

  • Information about choosing the best service for you
  • Advice about Norovirus. 

Choose well

Choosing the most appropriate care can not only benefit you but can also help relieve pressures on emergency services.

  • Call NHS 111: If you’re unsure which NHS service is best, call 111. An adviser will ask questions to assess your symptom, give you advice or direct you to the most appropriate service in your area.
  • NHS Choices (opens in a new window) can provide information on local urgent care facilities, GP, Pharmacy or other services.
  • Ask your pharmacist: Pharmacists are expert in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets.
  • See your family doctor: GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures.
  • NHS walk-in centres offer quick access to treatment for a wide variety of minor illnesses and injuries. Walk-in centres are open outside office hours and an appointment is not required.
  • A&E departments provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies. If you're unsure if it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.

Diarrhoea and vomiting?

Every year, Norovirus, also called the winter vomiting bug, affects between 600,000 and one million people in the UK (source: NHS Choices).

Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up within a few days. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.

You can normally look after yourself or your child at home.  Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily.

Call your GP or NHS 111 if:

  • Symptoms lasts longer than 48 hours  or increase in severity
  • You’re concerned or need any advice.

Norovirus is very infectious and outbreaks often occur in the community, particularly in schools and offices. It can then be brought into hospital by patients and their visitors and has the ability to cause outbreaks on wards.

Visiting friends and family in hospital

If you develop symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting, please do not visit relatives in hospital until you are symptom free for more than 48 hours.

In the event of Norovirus occurring in hospital, we will limit the number of visitors to the ward, and ask that you keep small children at home.

To protect yourself if you are visiting someone with diarrhoea and/or vomiting, please use soap and water to clean your hands.

More information

Visit the NHS Choices website (opens in a new window).

Get connected

  • Like us on Facebook 
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on LinkedIn 
  • Reviews on NHS Choices
  • Watch our videos


  • Like us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter 
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Review on NHS Choices
  • Watch our videos

NHS image placement

Healthy Workplace Achievement Award 2016 NHS Choices