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The Man Manual - men's health made easy (in print)
Would you call out roadside recovery if you ran out of petrol? Of course not. It would take ages and wouldn't solve the problem anyway. Yet every day hundreds of men make the same bad call when it comes to their own health by turning up at hospitals' Accident and Emergency or Casualty departments for totally the wrong reason. Don't.
If you know how the NHS works, you'll get what you need more easily and more quickly.
Go to the nearest A&E department only if you think you need urgent medical attention.
Major A&E departments offer access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but not all hospitals have an A&E department. You can find an A&E department on this site.
At A&E a doctor or triage nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action. If your life is not in danger you could wait some time.
TV programmes like ER can give the impression that A&E doctors are the best in their profession. Not true. They are experts in accidents but when it comes to say, detecting a lump that could be cancerous, your GP is a much better bet. Look at it this way: your local panel beater may have made your dented front wing as good as new but you still wouldn't ask them to tune your engine.
If it is not an immediate emergency call NHS 111 which is open 24/7 to provide medical advice. Or go and see your GP.
The GP out-of-hours service is available 6.30pm to 8am. When your local GP surgery is shut, an answerphone message will give you the contact details for the out-of-hours service.
If an ambulance is needed, call 999 (or 112 which works as the ambulance number throughout the European Union including the UK).
Some people think that by ringing for an ambulance they will be seen as a priority at A&E. Wrong. All new arrivals are assessed by a triage nurse who ensures that patients are seen in order of seriousness. Calling an ambulance when you don't need one will only annoy the very people you want to help you, the doctors and nurses, and may deny an ambulance to someone in a genuine life or death emergency.
Minor injuries units (MIUs) offer assessment and treatment for minor injuries such as sprains and strains.
At NHS walk-in centres you can see an experienced nurse or doctor (although not all centres have a doctor) without an appointment. They offer advice, assessment and treatment for minor ailments and injuries such as cuts, bruises, minor infections, strains and skin complaints.
Emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex must be taken within 72 hours. It is free from your GP and most family planning clinics. It is also available from some pharmacies.
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.
Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.
Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.