What to Do if You Can’t Get a GP Appointment

News 11 December 2023

Some of our cardiomyopathy community are finding it difficult to see or speak to their GP about their condition or possible symptoms. Our nurse team advise that if you're concerned about your health or your cardiomyopathy symptoms and can’t get an appointment with your GP, there are alternatives that you can try:

1. Call 999

In an emergency call 999, our nurse team would advise you to ring 999 instead of taking yourself to the hospital unless you are advised differently by the call handler.

2. Call 111

If you have an urgent medical issue and are unsure what to do, call 111, or visit 111 online. NHS 111 is available 24 hours 7 days a week. A trained advisor will direct you to the most appropriate healthcare advisor, this might be a GP, dentist, nurse or pharmacist.

3. Visit your local walk-in centre

Walk-in centres are for minor illnesses and injuries, for example, sprains, strains, and insect bites. most are open 7 days a week. Find your nearest walk-in centre here.

4. Ask to see a practice nurse

Practice nurses can help advise you about long-term conditions such as diabetes, and they can advise on things like quitting smoking and weight management. Some GP surgeries have nurse practitioners who can see people for minor illnesses and some can prescribe medications such as antibiotics.

5. Speak to a pharmacist

If you have a question about your medication or you would like advice about over-the-counter medications, a pharmacist is qualified to give advice and assess if you should seek medical help. Some pharmacists can prescribe medications for minor illnesses. Your GP practice may also have a GP pharmacist who you can ask to speak to about medications. 

6. Register for GP online services

If you can’t get an appointment with your GP, some GP surgeries have the facility for online queries to request an appointment, ask a question or request repeat medication. Find out more information here.

7. Visit the NHS website

If you are unsure about a condition or injury, you can visit the NHS website for medical advice here.

Support from Cardiomyopathy UK

Our helpline, support groups and telephone peer support are free services available to anyone concerned about, living with or caring for someone with cardiomyopathy and may help you whilst you’re waiting for care on the NHS or in addition to your medical care.

Call our helpline - on our helpline you can speak to a cardiac support nurse for as long as you need. You can also contact our nurses by emailing supportnurse@cardiomyopathy.org or via the livechat on our website.

Speak to others affected by cardiomyopathy - our support groups and telephone peer support give you the opportunity to connect and speak to people who understand what you’re going through and provide a safe space to share experiences, worries or advice. Find out more about our peer support services here or contact christie.jones@cardiomyopathy.org 

Call our helpline

Call our nurses helpline on 0800 018 1024, the lines are open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am - 4:30pm. You can also email supportnurse@cardiomyopathy.org or open a live chat here on our website.


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