Non-COVID-19 illnesses or injuries?

There will be times when some of us will need help and advice for non-coronavirus related illnesses or ongoing conditions that need attention.

Importantly, those health services that you normally turn to first when you are unwell are still there for you when you need them, so do not delay in contacting them if you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing.

They are likely to be working differently for the time being, so they can keep you, your family and their staff as safe and well as possible.

This could mean:

  • Changing opening times
  • Asking you to visit a different building
  • Having a telephone consultation to discuss your health needs
  • Temporarily postponing a regular appointment
  • Asking you to manage your own the health and wellbeing when it is appropriate for minor illnesses

We hope this will not inconvenience you too much and we appreciate your support during this time.

Here are some of the important changes to your services that you should know about if you need health advice, information or treatment for non coronavirus conditions.

Get NHS help online

It's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer. Get NHS help online here.


The NHS App is available to download and has some really useful options that can help to support you and your family at home such as reordering prescriptions, and up to date COVID-19 advice access 111 Online, for advice on self-care and whether urgent help is needed.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can contact NHS 111 online or by call 111 at any time day or night. NHS 111 will direct people to the most appropriate health service which may include a walk-in centre, GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.

Your local pharmacy

Pharmacies are still open to provide you with expert health advice on minor illnesses and ailments. As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

If you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff.

You can find website details for local pharmacies here.

Ordering prescriptions

The best way to order your repeat prescription is online through your GP practice or the NHS app. If you are unable to order your prescription in this way, your practice will have arrangements in place. Please only contact your surgery to request an alternative method of ordering prescriptions if you or a friend/family member are unable to order your medicines online or via an app.

If you can’t get out to pick up your medicines you can ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbour to collect your medicines once the prescription is ready for collection. If you have no one to help and are self-isolating, you can find details of support available on Sefton Council's website here.

GP practices

Your GP practice is working differently to provide your ongoing care and support.

Contact the practice, either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed. If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you will be advised on what to do. GP practices have measures in place to minimise any risk from coronavirus.

Please do not enter the practice unless you’ve been advised to. This will ensure they can continue to provide essential care safely.

You should continue to contact them without delay when you have health concerns, as you would do in normal times.

If you are registered with a GP surgery in south Sefton you can also book routine, non urgent evening and weekend appointments with a doctor, practice nurse or other healthcare professional through GP Extra. You can book appointments and get more information by calling your regular GP practice or via NHS 111. 

Remember, there is a range of services you can access online, including ordering repeat prescriptions and accessing a wide range of medical advice and information.

Visit your GP practice’s website for online services, or download the NHS App on your smartphone, tablet or other device.

Walk-in and urgent care centres

Sefton’s centre at Litherland Town Hall is continuing to provide health advice and treatment for you and those you care for, including your children. The centre is currently operating a telephone booking system which patients are asked to use in the first instance rather than attending the centre in person. 

Patients can book an appointment by contacting Litherland Walk-in Centre direct on their new number which is: 0151 475 4667. The Litherland Walk-in Centre telephone triage line is operating every day, from 8am to 8pm. 

Centres in Ormskirk and Skelmersdale are operating in the same way. You can call the centres using the numbers below or visit their websites for more information:

Litherland Walk-In Centre (8am – 8pm) - 0151 475 4667.

West Lancashire Urgent Care Centre and Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre – 01695 40218

Emergency hospital services

You should still call 999 for all serious or life-threatening emergencies. If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack or a stroke you must dial 999 immediately

If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.

You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to.

Use the following links to find out full arrangements at our local hospitals:

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Please note the children’s accident and emergency department at Ormskirk hospital is closed from 10pm until 8am each day until further notice. Ambulance patients are taken directly to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – including Aintree, the Royal and Broadgreen.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Getting you home as soon as you’re well enough

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has created a booklet, Information about your stay in hospital and what will happen when you leave, with useful information on how to make sure you’re not in hospital any longer than you need to be, as staying in hospital once you are well enough to leave has an impact on your health. Find out more about this here.


Community services

Services like blood testing and speech and language therapies are also working differently at this time and you can find out full details of any changes community provider Mersey Care has put in place by visiting their website: Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust 


Mental health and wellbeing services

Support and advice on your mental health and wellbeing continues to be available from our local services by telephone or online.

Use the links below for a round up of services and how to contact them:    

For adults

For children and young people


Sexual health service

Sefton Sexual Health Service is currently working to a reduced capacity. The service is still advising via phone consultations and seeing patients where absolutely necessary. Find out more at the Sefton Sexual Health website. 


Eye care and opticians

Anyone with a regular optician should as a first step call their practice/store. Please do not visit the practice/store.

The optometrist will assess your situation over the phone, give advice and, if needed, issue spectacles or contact lenses if these have been supplied before. These can be collected from or delivered by a local optician.

If you require spectacles to function with essential tasks such as work or driving as a key worker and it is not possible to dispense spectacles based on a previous prescription, then the optometrist is able to arrange a face to face consultation at the practice. This is subject to the optometrist’s clinical view of:

  • COVID-19 risk for both patient and practice team
  • The patient’s essential need for spectacles and/or contact lenses

Anyone without a regular optician can find details of local practices via:

If the Optometrist thinks that urgent or emergency eye care is needed, they will refer you into the local urgent or emergency eye care service so that any necessary treatment can be carried out. This may be carried out by the same optical practice or another local practice. 

For eye care problems, please contact your optician first. Please do not visit A&E, your GP practice or pharmacy. 



Dental practices are now able to open. Practices will need to prioritise patients with the most urgent need.

If you need help from a dentist:

  • contact your dental practice by phone or email.
  • you will be given advice or offered an appointment if appropriate.
  • for urgent dental care you can also use the NHS 111 online service.

If you are told to visit your dentist, you may notice some changes have been made to keep you and your dental team safe.

  • Your practice will look different as it observes social distancing and hygiene rules.
  • The dental team may also be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing.
  • The range of treatments you will be offered may be different to what you received previously.
  • Treatments offered may vary from practice to practice.
  • This will depend on the staff and equipment available at the time and is to ensure your safety and that of the dental team.

Please do not visit your practice unless you’ve been advised to. This will ensure they can continue to provide essential care safely.

If you think you need urgent dental treatment:

  • call your dentist
  • if you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service
  • if a clinical appointment is necessary, this may take place at your dental practice or at an urgent dental care centre.   

What to do about …

You can read advice about routine vaccinations and what to do if you, the person you care for or your child becomes unwell and you are pregnant or a cancer patient, or if you suspect you or someone you care for is having heart attack or stroke. Click here for more information.

Remember: what to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have coronavirus symptoms - a high temperature or a new, continuous cough - and you need medical advice, use NHS 111 online COVID service.

Only call 111 if you do not have online access.

If NHS 111 decides that you need to see or speak to someone else because of your symptoms, the service will arrange this with you.