Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

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Is A&E for me?

Find out more information on alternatives to A&E for your mini me here.


A&E is for life-threatening accidents and emergencies only. Before you go there, ask yourself, "Is it a real emergency?" If not, there are other local health services in Luton that can provide you with the help and care you need. Save time and find the right NHS service that will help you best. See the list of alternative options below.

Alternative options to A&E

Watch our video to find the best healthcare service to use when you or a loved one feels unwell.




Self care at home is the right choice for most minor illnesses and injuries such as coughs, colds, stomach upsets, sore throats and headaches: usually, plenty of fluids and proper rest is enough to help you feel better. Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with essentials and if you have children, make sure you’ve got the right medicines according to their age. Keep a first aid kit stocked with:

  • Plasters, bandages, dressings
  • Safety pins
  • Tweezers
  • Antiseptic cream, insect bite/sting cream or spray
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Digital thermometer.

Search 'NHS medicine cabinet' or for more information on self care click here.


Pharmacists are a great source of professional, confidential health advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait to see a GP or A&E. Just give them a call or drop in – there’s no need to make an appointment.

There are approx. 52 pharmacies in Luton and many open late in the evening, at weekends and bank holidays. Search for your local pharmacy and its opening times here.

Pharmacies can:

  • Give advice on treating minor illnesses and injuries and help you choose the right treatments
  • Provide advice on whether you should see your GP
  • Dispense prescription medicines and provide advice on how to take them safely
  • Dispense repeat prescriptions if you have arranged this with your GP
  • Help you to manage long-term conditions and your medication for them
  • Give advice on sexual health and contraception
  • Give advice on staying healthy, including stopping smoking

Your local family doctor or GP (General Practitioner) provides a wide range of health services and support for all sorts of illnesses or injuries. Nurses and health care assistants often work alongside the GPs to help support patients' everyday health.

Many GP practices are now open for longer hours and offer emergency appointments each day for patients with more urgent conditions. If you need to see a GP outside opening hours, just call your practice as normal and you will be directed to the out of hours service. Click here for more information on your local GP.

The types of health services provided by GP practices include:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of medical problems and advice on any health problems or concerns
  • Planned care of long term illnesses such as heart disease, epilepsy, diabetes
  • Treatment of minor injuries
  • Prescriptions and repeat prescriptions for medicines
  • Preventative immunisations
  • Contraceptive and sexual health advice
  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Advice and guidance on healthy lifestyle choices and local groups/services
  • Advice on, and referrals to, other health and social services
  • They may also offer travel vaccinations (charges may apply).
GP out of hours  

If you require a doctor outside of surgery hours please telephone NHS111.

NHS111 is the non-emergency number which is fast, easy and free. By calling NHS111 you will get to speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

In a genuine emergency, you should call 999.

Urgent  Primary Care Centre  

Urgent Treatment Centre

The Urgent Treatment Centre is for patients who need to see a medical professional urgently - but it is not a 999 emergency. The Centre can help a patient if they have an urgent medical need which cannot wait until their own GP surgery reopens. The Centre can also help patients who are not registered to a GP locally.

Patients are encouraged to call NHS111 in the first instance, to be assessed by a medical professional and advised on the right course of action or appropriate NHS Service to use. After the telephone assessment the NHS111 medical professional can book an appointment at the Urgent Treatment Centre if required.

Please remember that Accident and Emergency Departments are for 999 emergencies only.                

An Urgent Treatment Centre can help with:

  • Minor Illnesses
  • Cuts and grazes
  • Minor scald/burns
  • Strains/sprains
  • Bites/tings
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Minor skin infections/rashes
  • Minor eye conditions
  • Stomach upsets
  • Coughs, colds flu-like symptoms
  • Common illnesses
  • Asthma attacks
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Urine infections/Genital symptoms

They cannot help with:

  • Head injury-loss of consciousness
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Overdose of drugs or accidental drinking of chemicals
  • Doctors certificates
  • Medication reviews for diabetes or asthma
  • Routine vaccinations or travel vaccinations
  • Routine dressings
  • Ear syringing
  • Routine contraceptive checks
  • Routine removal of stitches
  • Services will vary depending on the staff availability.
  • Requesting Repeat Prescriptions at the Urgent Treatment Centre

The Town Centre Surgery Luton
14 - 16 Chapel Street
Luton, LU1 2SE
Tel: 01582 709290


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