Support / Self Referral

Did you know that you don’t always need to see a GP or consultant to access some referral services? Self -referral is an option that can make it easier and faster for you to get help, rather than seeing your doctor.

You can register for most of them online. Click on the service you’re interested in, and find the help you need easily.

 Please be aware, the availability of self-referral services varies across Derby and Derbyshire.

For general information on support services in Derbyshire, please see Derbyshire Healthcare Local Support Services.

Sections on this page:

Carer’s Support

Are you a Carer? Do you provide unpaid support to a partner, relative, friend or neighbour who couldn’t cope without your help?

Go to our carer’s support page

Continence Services

Many people suffer with bladder and bowel problems and do not realise that help and advice is available.  The continence advisory service offers a comprehensive assessment and treatment service by a continence specialist nurse for people with a Derbyshire GP.

For more information see the DCHS Continence Advisory Service or call 01773 546868.

Domestic Abuse

The NHS website has advice for the public on spotting the signs of domestic abuse and domestic violence and where to go for help.

The NHS also has a help page for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

The Home Office is promoting the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number 0808 2000 247 and associated online support available at
As part of the campaign, the Home Office has produced detailed advice for those experiencing domestic abuse and domestic violence.

In addition, Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.

If you are worried that a friend, neighbour or loved one is a victim of domestic abuse then you can call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 and further information is on the helpline’s dedicated website.

If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.

Driving Support

Some Drivers are now being told by the DVLA to ask their GP if they are “fit to drive” so that they can continue to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988). The DVLA has produced a leaflet which explains RTA 1988.

GPs are not usually qualified, and may not be indemnified, to advise patients whether or not they are fit to drive. In normal circumstances a practice may provide a factual report for the DVLA so that their expert medical advisers will decide upon fitness. If a GP were to provide an opinion that their patient was ‘fit to drive’, and then an accident were to occur, the GP may be liable. This would not be covered by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, as this is not NHS work. 

If a GP were to say that a patient was not fit, then that could equally potentially adversely affect the long term doctor-patient relationship. 

For these reasons, Appletree in general will decline to provide this assurance. As a GP our place is not to provide an opinion as to an individual’s fitness to drive per se, but we may offer to provide factual information about a patient’s health, with their consent. If a GP agrees to produce a bespoke report prepared for the patient to be sent to the DVLA on their behalf, a reasonable fee may be charged as this is not NHS work.

EyecareMinor Eye Conditions Service

What is the Minor Eye Conditions Service?

The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) provides assessment and treatment for people with recently occurring minor eye problems. It is an NHS service provided by accredited optometrists (also commonly called opticians).

What Conditions Can Be Treated by the Service?

If you are experiencing:

  • Red eye or eyelids
  • Dry, gritty or uncomfortable eyes
  • Eye irritation and inflammation
  • A lot of recent discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Recently occurring flashes or floaters
  • Painful eye
  • Ingrowing lashes
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

…you can arrange an appointment with an optometrist through the Minor Eye Conditions service.

Who Is The Service For?

The service is for people of all ages. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult. You do not need a GP referral to use this service.

This service is available in many parts of England. Search our directory to find out whether the service is available in your area by entering the postcode for your GP practice.

More information can be found at:

A guide to help you take care of your eyes

Our eyes are one of the most fascinating and complex parts of the body, second only to the brain in terms of complexity. Eyes can process 36,000 pieces of information in a single hour and in an average life, your eyes will see 24 million different images. We rely on them every day, yet we don’t give them much thought until something goes wrong and our vision is affected. To help you take better care of your eyes, Joined Up Care Derbyshire have produced a self-care guide which enables you to calculate your eye health and find out more about:

  • How to prevent eye conditions
  • Where to get help if you do have an eye condition
  • Common types of eye conditions

The self-care guide is available here.  

Family Healthcare / Teen Health / ChatHealth

DCHS Derbyshire Family Health Service

This website provides evidence-based advice on all matters relating to physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing for families in Derbyshire. The website covers topics ranging from pregnancy, to 0-5 years, to 5-10 years, to teen health and wellbeing

Derbyshire Teen Health

This dedicated site aims to give young people the most up-to-date, expert advice on all matters related to their health and wellbeing


Text a Derbyshire school nurse via ChatHealth: 07507 330025 (11-19 year olds) This is a confidential text messaging service for young people, providing advice and support from one of our healthcare professionals. Available Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.30pm, except bank holidays.

For more information see

Leaving Hospital

Derbyshire Home from Hospital Service provides practical support for vulnerable people leaving hospital, or those living at home but at risk of being admitted. The service is provided by a combination of staff and volunteers and is free of charge.

The service is for anyone who:

  • Is vulnerable due to their age, health or disability, and;
  • Lives in Derbyshire (outside of Derby City) or, is registered with a GP in Derbyshire, and;
  • Has limited support from family or friends.

The service offers things like: 

  • doing basic shopping
  • making sure the home is warm and comfortable
  • arranging key safes, community alarms or telecare
  • collecting prescriptions
  • signposting to other statutory, voluntary sector and community organisations. 

Anyone can make a referral, including the patient themselves. You do not need a doctor to refer you.

Please call 01283 817417 Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4.30pm (an answerphone is available outside these hours) or email [email protected]

Read more here and on the Derbyshire Home from Hospital Service website.


Loneliness is an issue that can affect us all, young or old, at any point in our lives. Advice on loneliness

NHS Better Health

Kickstart your health

Healthy changes start with little changes. Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking, Better Health is here with lots of free tools and support. You can also find simple ways to lift your mood with Every Mind Matters.

NHS Better Health

Occupational Therapy

The Belper PCN employs an Occupational Therapist to help support the patients registered with either Appletree Medical Practice, Arthur Medical Centre, Riversdale Surgery or Whitemoor Medical Centre. To find out more about what our Occupational Therapist can do and how to get an appointment, please read the attached leaflet.

Occupational Therapy Leaflet

Pharmacy First – seven minor conditions

Your Pharmacy is now able to deal with seven minor conditions:

These conditions are: 

Sinusitisfor children and adults aged 12 years and over
Sore throatfor children and adults aged 5 years and over
Earache (Acute otitis media)for children aged 1 to 17 years
Infected insect bitefor children and adults aged 1 year and over
Impetigofor children and adults aged 1 year and over
Shinglesfor adults aged 18 years and over
Uncomplicated urinary tract infectionsfor women aged 16 to 64 years
If you have symptoms that suggest you may have one of these conditions, you can now walk into a pharmacy and be offered a consultation with the pharmacist. Under the new service pharmacists can provide advice and, if clinically necessary, will offer an NHS medicine to treat it (NHS prescription charge apply if you normally pay for medicines supplied on prescription). Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate


The DCHS outpatient physiotherapy service provides assessment, treatment and joint injections for musculoskeletal conditions. Physiotherapy services also have access to diagnostic investigations and a robust escalation process for referral to secondary care.  

Self-referral into the outpatient physio and OT services is available via online form on the MSK website or by telephoning Therapy Direct on 01246 565050.

GetUBetter – MSK app

In addition to physiotherapy, NHS Joined Up Care Derby MSK app is now available to all patients. It’s a FREE, easy-to-use tool helping you to self-manage your muscle, bone, and joint (MSK) injuries and conditions.

  • No need to wait for an appointment
  • Instant access to a personalised plan
  • Safe and effective

What is getUBetter?

GetUBetter is an app helping you self-manage at home, work, and on the move. It can be accessed on a Smartphone or via the Web.

It covers a range of MSK injuries and condition, like back pain and ankle pain, and is designed to help you recover, understand when and where to seek help, and prevent further injuries.?

Who is the GetUBetter App for?

  • Anyone over 18
  • Anyone who’s been advised or chose to self-manage
  • Anyone waiting for treatment

What will I get?

  • A personalised recovery plan
  • Step-by-step guidance
  • Exercises based on your condition
  • Advice to seek help, if needed.
  • Referral to your local healthcare providers, treatments, and services, if needed.

How do I download and use GetUBetter?

1.Follow the link to access your local health service
2. With the same email, create an account on the app
3. Follow the instructions on the app, get your recovery plan and get better!

Need more help? Get in touch: [email protected]

Safe Places

Safe Places are where people can go if they feel scared, lost, unwell or anxious. Knowing where Safe Places are is a comfort to many people and instils them with confidence when they venture out and about.

Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme. Keep safe with safe places

For many people who suffer with anxiety, stress or depression a trip outside the home can be a harrowing experience. The onset of Covid-19 has exacerbated this and more people are fearful of going out.

The Safe Place Scheme is part of our Hate Crime / Keeping Safe project. It is supported by MacIntyre, Derbyshire Police, Trading Standards and the Derbyshire Learning Disability Partnership Board.

Safe Places are public buildings in towns and communities across Derbyshire, such as libraries, GP surgeries, pharmacies and shops. They have stickers in their windows so people can see that they are part of the scheme and know they can go in and ask for help if they need to.

The staff working in a safe place know how to help people with learning disabilities, dementia or other difficulties that make them vulnerable.

All Safe Places are detailed on the Derbyshire County Council Safe Places web page.

For further information please see the Safe Places leaflet

Suicide Help

Samaritans are waiting for your call. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Telephone: 0116 123 for free

Teen Health and Wellbeing

As a young person in Derbyshire, we believe that your health and wellbeing information should work for you. Here we hope you will find information that can support you and help you to make decisions about your mental, physical and emotional health.

Waiting for your hospital appointment

UHDB have released some guidance to patients on the steps that they need to take to ensure that they’re seen by the right NHS service for them, depending on their needs.

This includes advice on what patients should do if they’ve been to see their GP and been referred to hospital but haven’t yet had an appointment confirmed, as well as what they need to do, should their symptoms get worse before their appointment date.

This guidance can be accessed on the UHDB website here. For more information and average waiting times please see here.