What to do when we are closed

Out of Hours Emergencies

Call 111 when it's less urgent than 999

When the practice is closed, there is an out of hours emergency medical service available at all times. This service is meant for urgent and emergency problems and should not be used to avoid the inconvenience of consulting during the day.  If you need out of hours help, you should telephone 111 which is a free-phone number nationwide. Trained staff located at the call control centre will handle your enquiry.  

On dialling 111 a team of fully trained advisers and experienced nurses will assess your condition and direct you to the local service that can help you best, when you need it. That could be your GP surgery, an out of hours GP, A&E, a local urgent care centre, emergency dentist or a late opening pharmacist.

Remember the Out of Hours Service is for urgent problems only. Please do not contact the service for a second opinion or for anything which can wait until the next working day.

If you have a minor ailment you could visit your local pharmacy who will be able to provide you with some help or signpost you onto the next available service.

In a genuine emergency you should call 999. Chest pains and / or shortness of breath constitute an emergency.

Mental Health Crisis?

You should call 999 or go to A&E if you, or someone you know, experiences a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency. These are cases where there is immediate danger to life or physical injury. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. If you feel like you may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 or go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.

Community Pharmacists

In addition to dispensing prescriptions the large network of community pharmacies across Co Durham and Darlington provide a wide range of services e.g. minor ailments, sexual health and smoking cessation services.


A number of pharmacies provide extended opening hours including opening in the evenings and at weekends, details of all pharmacies in County Durham and Darlington can be accessed click on the ‘pharmacies’ link on the left hand side of the home page. We recommend that you telephone a pharmacy to check they can provide the service you need before you set off.