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Herts Urgent Care is not an emergency service. If you feel your condition is a medical emergency, please call 999.
Medical emergencies would include but are not limited to:
- heavy bleeding,
- severe breathing difficulty,
- suspected heart attack,
- serious accidents,
- crushing central chest pain,
- any condition which you feel is a threat to life and/or requires an immediate response.
Herts Urgent Care works towards achieving the National Quality Standards for Out-of-hours Services (by the Department of Health). These set out timeframes in which patients must be contacted, assessed and treated.
Please see the Quality pages for more information.
The maximum time you can expect to wait for a call back from a GP after contacting Herts Urgent Care is one hour (although most people do not wait this long).
Herts Urgent Care provides out-of-hours healthcare to people registered with a GP in Herts or living in Herts.
Telephone us on 111 or telephone your own GP surgery which will re-direct your call to us.
Herts Urgent Care is a telephone access service, which means that we expect people to contact us initially by telephone, and to speak to a GP about their health issue. The GP can then decide how best to care for you, which may involve a face-to-face consultation at one of our Primary Care Centres.
When you telephone Herts Urgent Care you will reach one of our highly trained call-handlers. They will take your personal details and a few details about why you are calling. You will be advised that a GP will call you back to discuss your health issue.
A GP will telephone you on the number you have given, and will discuss your health issue in detail. He/she will then be able to make a decision on the best way to deal with your health issue.
The GP may be able to advise you how to help yourself/your relative, with over-the-counter medicines or things you can do at home. They may also prescribe a medicine for which you require a prescription. This can be collected from one of our Primary Care Centres, and taken to a pharmacy for dispensing.
Primary Care Centre
The GP may wish to make you an appointment so that you can be seen face-to-face by one of our GPs for a more in-depth consultation, or to undertake some routine tests (such as a urine sample).
Please arrive at the centre on time for your appointment, as this helps us to keep the system running smoothly.
If you are very unwell, or it would be very difficult for you to travel to a Primary Care Centre due to your health issue, you may be offered a home visit. This is when the GP will come to examine you in your own home.
When you telephone, you will be asked for your telephone number. This should be the number on which you will be available for the GP to call you back.
You will also be asked for your name, date of birth, home address (with postcode), and the GP surgery with which you are registered.
Not being able to provide any of these details would not exclude you from accessing healthcare at Herts Urgent Care.
When you speak to the GP, you will be asked to discuss your health issue in detail with him/her.
You can expect Herts Urgent Care to treat you with respect and dignity at all times.
You can expect any information which you give us to be treated confidentially.
You can expect to be called back by a GP (after you first call Herts Urgent Care) within a maximum of one hour (in many cases it will be much quicker than one hour).
Herts Urgent Care provides cover from 6.30pm - 8.00am during the week and for 24 hours on weekends and Bank Holidays for those patients with urgent needs that cannot wait until their GP practice is next open.
We have centres at which appointments can be offered throughout the region. Some of these are not open 24 hours. Herts Urgent Care will offer you an appointment at the most convenient centre for you that is open at the time you need to be seen. Click here for more details.
Herts Urgent Care believes the best care is provided when you are put in touch with the right person to care for you as soon as possible. In most cases this will be a senior, very experienced GP. When Herts Urgent Care calls you back, you will speak to an experienced local GP, who is the best person to discuss your health issue and decide on the appropriate treatment. This GP may decide to pass you over to another organisation (such as Accident & Emergency department or District Nursing) who will be better equipped to help you. They may make you an appointment with one of our GPs or experienced nurses at one of the Primary Care Centres.
You will always be able to speak to a GP during the out-of-hours period if necessary.