Keep GP Out of Hours Service for Urgent Illness

Know where to go when you are ill

Seek appointment with your daytime GP – Your own GP knows you best

Current demand for the GP out of hours service is seeing a surge in attendances from patients at the moment, particularly in the under 16 age group.  Dr Mel Bates, Medical Director of D Doc advises, “Patients should first seek an appointment with their daytime GP. The Out of Hours GP service is for patients with urgent medical problems that cannot wait until their regular GP is available.

“We know people are contacting the service for minor illness and matters that are not urgent, and this is adding to delays for other acutely ill patients, especially older patients and very young children who need to access the service, particularly at this time of year.

Winter illnesses such as Flu, colds, sore throats earaches, temperature, and tummy upset are viral illnesses which do not respond to antibiotics. Before looking for a GP appointment, patients should consider self-care and first check out the advice at and

Know where to go when you are ill: Think before you access health services.Self-care & Pharmacy: For viral illness – see and, or visit your pharmacy for advice who can advise you on medicines, over-the-counter remedies and how to treat ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and stomach upsets.

Regular GP:  If you feel unwell and have already gone to you can make an appointment with your regular daytime GP because your own GP knows you best.

GP Out of Hours: Urgent family doctor service operating on weekday nights and weekend days – for acute illness that cannot wait until your own GP is available.  Be mindful that the very young and the elderly may get priority at the Out of Hours GP service.

Injury Units and Children’s Urgent Care Centre at Connolly: For injuries that are unlikely to need hospital admission. CHI Children’s Urgent Care Centre at Connolly for broken bones, dislocations, sprains, wounds, stitches, scalds, croup, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Viral illnesses tend to clear up with self-care but may take some time to clear up.

High Temperature: is a normal part of infections and responds well to paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Sore throat: Are usually viral and can take 8 days to clear.

Cough with phlegm: is usually viral and can take 10 days or more to get better. If not improving then see your own GP.

Earache – self-care for 4 days with paracetamol and ibuprofen and then see your GP if not better.

See advice from Dr Mel Bates, Medical Director, D-Doc Out of Hours GP service

Best advice on using out of hours GP service

Plan ahead for winter

For more information on staying healthy during winter visit  #undertheweather  #treatityourself