Livewell Southwest logo

Questions About Physical Health

Do you need urgent help now?

When to dial 999

Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions. Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma. Major trauma is often the result of a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Medical emergencies can include:

Learn more

When should I call NHS 111?

If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist.

NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one.

NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary. Learn more


Minor injuries units

If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit, rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait. Learn more

Minor injuries units can treat …

  • sprains and strains
  • broken bones
  • wound infections
  • minor burns and scalds
  • minor head injuries
  • insect and animal bites
  • minor eye injuries
  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest

Learn more about local minor injuries units – click here.

Do you want to improve your health?

Livewell Southwest’s team of specialist wellbeing practitioners deliver the One You Plymouth programme which provides free advice and support to local people on how to improve and maintain their mental and physical wellbeing.

What to do

If you’d like to move more, eat well, drink less, be smoke free, stress less and sleep well, or get a free health checks, you can self-refer via their website

Do you need nursing care in the evenings and overnight?

The out of hours district nursing service provides urgent nursing care within the community between the hours of 5pm – 8am, 365 days a year.

What to do

All referrals to the out of hours team should be made via Devon Doctors.

Do you need help caring for your feet?

If you need advice and treatment for painful feet or any other foot-related problem, our podiatry service can help to treat and alleviate day-to-day foot problems as well as abnormal conditions. Learn more.

What to do

If you’re experiencing problems with your feet, please speak to your GP, your nurse or other healthcare professional who can make a referral to our podiatry service.

Do you need to contact our community hospitals and in-patient units?

To contact any of our community hospitals, unit, teams or individuals, please contact our switchboard on 01752 435502 and ask to be directed to the relevant area.

Do you need help adapting your home so you can stay there?

If you require equipment to stay in your own home and maintain your independence, our integrated community crisis response team can support you with this. This means that within this team there are both health and social care workers who can support you.

What to do

Referrals can be made by a health or social care professional who has assessed you within the last 24 hours.

Do you need help with your leg ulcer?

A leg ulcer is a long-lasting sore that takes more than four to six weeks to heal. They usually develop on the inside of the leg, just above the ankle.

The symptoms of a venous leg ulcer include pain, itching and swelling in the affected leg. There may also be discoloured or hardened skin around the ulcer, and the sore may produce a foul-smelling discharge. Learn more.

What to do

If you think you have a leg ulcer please speak to your GP, as it will need specialist treatment to help it heal. Your GP may refer you to either our district nurse treatment clinic <link to service> or to our wellbeing leg club. This is 12-week programme including lifestyle coaching, seated exercise classes, mindfulness, befriending and other support services.

How can you be looked after at home?

Our community services can help to look after you at home, rather than in hospital. These include:

Community/District Nursing

This service provides high quality nursing care to people in their own homes, residential care and in treatment clinics. They provide 24 hour care, 365 days per year. Learn more.

Acute Care at Home

This service provides treatments that may have been started in hospital or by your GP to allow you to remain at home or return home earlier. Learn more <link to service>

What to do

The Community/District Nursing service will triage referrals from anyone who contacts them, such as relatives, neighbours, carers and other professionals, such as GP’s and Social Services.

If you feel generally unwell call 111. For emergencies call 999.

Are you in pain and don’t have an NHS dentist?

If you’re not registered with an NHS dentist and you’re in pain, or if you have special needs you can receive treatment from our dental service. Learn more.

What to do

You can contact the service Monday – Friday, 8:45am – 5pm. All appointments must be booked in advance.

On weekends and bank holidays an emergency service is provided by Devon Dental.

If you are in severe pain, bleeding heavily or have an injury to the face, mouth or teeth visit your local A&E department. If you’re not sure whether you should go to A&E, contact NHS 111, who will be able to advise you.

Do you need support with social care for yourself or someone you’re concerned about?

Details coming soon.

Are you worried about someone’s safety?

Living a life that is free from harm and abuse is a fundamental human right of every person and an essential requirement for health and wellbeing.

The Plymouth Adult Safeguarding Board brings agencies together to ensure that vulnerable adults at risk are protected and safe.

What to do

Call 999 if the person is in real danger now.

If you see or hear about something that could be abuse or if someone tells you that something has happened to them which could be abuse or neglect contact Plymouth City Council.

Are you worried about falling?

Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long-term health condition.

Falls are a common, but often overlooked, cause of injury. Around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.

Most falls don’t result in serious injury. However, there’s always a risk that a fall could lead to broken bones, and it can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they’ve lost their independence. Learn more.

What to do

It is important to tell your doctor if you start to experience falls or feel unsteady, even if you feel well otherwise.

Your GP will review the information and decide how best to help you. This help may be provided either by your surgery or through referral to our falls team.

Do you need sexual health or family planning advice?

Sexual health is an important part of physical and mental health as well as your emotional and social wellbeing. It’s important to take care of your sexual health and to talk about sex and relationships with your loved ones. Learn more.

What to do

If need more information on sexual health, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), contraception or pregnancy contact our community contraception and sexual health service.