Updated 4 December 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means you should only leave your home if it's essential, but it's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer.
If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. If you cannot get what you need this way or do not have internet access, try asking a friend or family member to help you, or speak to your GP surgery on the phone.
When to go in person
You should still go to hospital in a serious or life-threatening emergency, or if you feel very unwell.
You should also continue to attend appointments for ongoing treatment, unless you have been told not to.
Otherwise, you should only visit your GP, hospital or other NHS care provider in person if you have been told to by a healthcare professional. This helps to keep you safe, keep others safe and protect the NHS.
The NHS website has information and advice on:
For urgent medical advice, the NHS 111 online website will tell you when and where to get help, and can arrange for you to be contacted by a nurse if needed.
Only call 111 if you are unable to get help online. In an emergency, dial 999.
If you need to contact a GP
Most GP surgeries can be contacted online. You will be able to tell your GP about your health using an online form or by speaking to someone online. This is called an online consultation.
You can also make requests and ask for information. Visit a GP surgery website to find out how to do this.
You may already use a GP's online services. This is an account on a website or app that you can use to access some services online. Patient Access, Practice Plus and myGP are examples of GP online service providers.
If you already have an account to access your GP online, log in to see the services you can use. If not, visit your GP surgery's website to find out about signing up.
You can also use the NHS App to access GP services. You will need to download and set up the app first if you have not used it before.
Appointments from home
Most appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional will now be via phone call, or by a video call using your smartphone, tablet or computer if they need to see you.
If you have not had a video call before or are unsure how it works, it is an easy process and there is nothing to worry about.
Did you know you can order repeat prescriptions online, without needing to go to a GP surgery or pharmacy?
You can also ask your pharmacy about getting your medicine delivered to your home, rather than needing to collect it.
The NHS App also allows you to set and change which pharmacy your prescription is sent to.
You can pick one near where you live or choose one that will deliver your medicine to help cut down on travel while staying at home.
While staying at home, it's important to keep managing any physical or mental health conditions you may have.
The NHS Apps Library has a wide variety of apps and online tools that can help with this, covering different conditions and categories like diabetes, pregnancy and maternity, and mental wellbeing.
The apps have all been assessed as safe to use.