Out of hours service

The GP out of hours service is for people who need urgent medical treatment but cannot wait until their doctor's practice is open. The service is for terminally ill people, very sick children and frail elderly people. The dental out of hours service only treats people with dental pain, swelling or bleeding.

When you mustn't use the out of hours service

You don't use the GP out of hours service for:

  • repeat prescriptions
  • dental problems
  • minor ailments that a pharmacist can treat

Using the out of hours service

GP out of hours is available if you need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed.

GP out of hours services are:

  • 6.00 pm on week days until your GP surgery opens the next morning
  • 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday
  • 24 hours on public holidays

You should telephone the out of hours service first. The doctor or nurse will assess you and:

  • give you advice by telephone
  • decide if you need to see a doctor
  • refer you to another service 

If your condition is life-threatening, for example, a suspected heart attack or stroke, telephone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Contact out of hours service in your area

Organisation Area/town Telephone  Textphone
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust North and West Belfast 028 9074 4447 18001 028 9074 4447
  South and East Belfast 028 9079 6220 18001 028 9079 6220
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Ards and North Down 028 9182 2344 18001 028 9182 2344
  Lisburn and Downpatrick 028 9260 2204 18001 028 9260 2204
Dalriada Urgent Care

Newtownabbey council areas

028 2566 3500 18001 028 2566 3500
Southern Health and Social Care Trust

Armagh and Dungannon
Craigavon and Banbridge

Newry and Mourne

028 3839 9201 18001 028 3839 9201
Western Urgent Care


028 7186 5195

18001 028 71865195

Help for people in distress or despair

Lifeline is a crisis response free helpline available across Northern Ireland. It offers immediate help by telephone all day, every day if you or someone you know is in distress or despair.

If you or someone you know needs help now, you can contact Lifeline in confidence. 

Dental out of hours service

The dental out of hours service is for dental emergencies only including:

  • trauma
  • swelling
  • uncontrollable bleeding
  • severe pain

These dental clinics don't repair dentures or restore lost crowns or bridges. You may need to pay for dental treatment. For clinic opening hours and information about when charges apply, go to:

GP out of hours service video

The video explains when to use the GP out of hours service in Northern Ireland.

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