Is it an emergency?

When you or your loved ones are unwell, it’s really important that you get the most appropriate treatment as early as possible to help you get better.

There are many options available to you, but the Emergency Department (ED) isn’t always the right choice. There are several different options for treatment so please do consider what is most appropriate for your needs coming to hospital.

If you’re unsure about the best course of action or need guidance about where to go for treatment, please telephone the NHS 111 line. You can also search hundreds of conditions and find local services on NHS Choices.

Is it an emergency?

If you’re in a life-threatening or serious situation you may need to call 999 for an ambulance or, if it is safe for you to do so, visit the Emergency Department at Harrogate District Hospital independently. Examples of emergency situations are:

  • Severe chest pains
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Serious head injury
  • Severe burn/scald
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Suspected broken bones or dislocation
  • Severe stomach ache that cannot be treated by over-the-counter remedies
  • Deep wounds
  • Overdose or poisoning
  • If a person has numbness or weakness down one side and/or has problems understanding what you are saying or has new problems with their speech

Our Emergency Department is open 24/7 throughout the year.

Minor Injury Units (MIU)

We have Minor Injury Units located at Ripon Community Hospital and at Selby Hospital. These can provide assessment and treatment for:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Broken bones
  • Wound infections
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Minor head injuries
  • Insect and animal bites
  • Minor eye injuries
  • Minor injuries to the back, shoulder, and chest

The Minor Injury Unit at Ripon is open from 8am-6pm, seven days a week.
The Minor Injury Unit at Selby is open from 7.30am-9pm, seven days a week.


A list of local GPs can be found on NHS Choices. Please see your GP if you don’t need immediate care. Non-urgent conditions might include:

  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Backache
  • Skin conditions/ rashes when otherwise well
  • Long term medical problems that have worsened

GP Out of Hours

If you require a GP between 6pm and 8am Monday to Friday, or on weekend or bank holidays, please call NHS 111 who will be able to assess you and direct your call appropriately.


Pharmacists offer a wide range of services and are fully trained to offer advice and treatments for many common illnesses and injuries. To find your nearest pharmacist, please visit the NHS Choices website. Pharmacists can help with:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Runny nose
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Coughs
  • Headaches

Keeping safe during winter

When the cold weather hits, it’s particularly important to take good care of yourself to avoid colds, flu, and other, more serious illnesses. You can find out more about keeping yourself well in winter on NHS Choices, but here are our top tips:

Get your flu jab

Flu is a highly infectious disease which can hit suddenly and cause fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. You can often get a cough and sore throat. For more vulnerable people, flu can have serious implications, and so you’re encouraged to get the flu jab if you’re:

  • Pregnant
  • Aged 65 or over
  • Have a serious or long-lasting medical condition

Children can also be given the flu jab, either by vaccination or as a nasal spray. Many people, including pregnant women and carers for the elderly, may be eligible for a free flu jab, and we’d recommend that you speak to your GP if you think this might be the case. For more information, please visit the NHS Choices website.

Keep warm

This can help prevent colds, flu, or other serious conditions such as strokes and pneumonia. Wrap up warm, keep your heating on where possible, and consider taking a hot water bottle to bed with you.

Eat well

Food is a vital source of energy and can help keep you warm. Try to have regular hot meals and drinks to keep you toasty.

Stay active

Moderate exercise brings plenty of health benefits and can help keep you warm and healthy during the winter months. Please do see your GP before starting on a new fitness plan.

Be a good neighbour

Winter can be a really difficult time for vulnerable people. Try to check on your elderly neighbours, family, and friends to ensure that they’re warm and safe.

Get your medication

Ensure you have a supply of your regular medication to last over weekends and bank holidays.

Seek advice early

Get help early if you experience a worsening of long term health conditions or illness starts to affect your ability to be as active as you normal. Contact NHS 111 or your own GP if you are not sure.