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Emergency Treatment


You can get free emergency treatment from the Accident and Emergency (also called A&E or Casualty) department or Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at any hospital. You do not have to be registered with a doctor to use these services at hospitals. A&E's are generally for more serious accidents than Minor Injury Units. There are 2 A&E's in Cornwall, and 2 near the edge of Devon. There are MIU's in most towns. If someone is too ill or badly hurt to get to hospital by themselves, you can call for an ambulance. Dial 999 or 112 free of charge and ask for 'ambulance'. You will be asked to give the telephone number you are ringing from and explain what is wrong.




You can register with a local doctor or GP (General Practitioner) near to where you live. They can give advice and treatment for minor illnesses and diseases, and also many other things such as mental illness, pregnancy and advice about drug and alcohol misuse. GP surgeries are managed by the three Primary Care Trusts. They will be able to tell you about GPs in your local area, or you can speak to NHS Direct.


Adult Social Care


Adult Social Care, which used to be called Social Services, is an important part of the County Council. They play an essential role in providing support to people in the community who have social or special needs and assist them to obtain local services. For anyone with disabilities, and older people who may be in need, they can give support to live independently, including practical help and equipment (walking frames, hearing aids, etc) and help with personal care (getting up, washing, etc). They can provide blue badges for disabled parking, although if you have one from another country in Europe, you can still use it here.

For people who care for older or disabled people they can give practical help, support and breaks away from the person they look after. There are 7 Adult Social Care offices in Cornwall.


NHS direct 0845 46 47


This service is available 24 hours, seven days a week. If you are worried about your health or the health of a family member, qualified nurses can give free and confidential advice and information. NHS Direct also has lists of doctors, dentists and hospitals in your area. NHS Direct uses Language Line, the telephone interpreting service. Ask for your language when the operator answers you.




Some dentists in Cornwall accept NHS patients, although this treatment is not always free. The free 24 hour Emergency Dental Helpline can provide information on registering with a dentist, NHS emergency treatment, charges and treatments available. They also run emergency clinics for unregistered patients

If you have been resident in the UK for more than 6 months, you are entitled to NHS dental care, if you can find a dentist who will register you as a new NHS patient.


Finding a dentist: http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/pages/Trust.aspx?id=5QP&v=3




If you need an interpreter, it is the responsibility of your hospital, GP surgery, dentist or optician to arrange for one, at no charge to you. It is important that you have an interpreter for medical matters, so that the medical staff can understand you, and give you the right treatment. It is best if family members are not used to interpret in health matters, as you may not wish to discuss sensitive issues in front of a relative.


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