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The Covid-19 pandemic has meant some operations and procedures have been delayed. We understand that this has caused concern and anxiety for those waiting for treatment. The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.

Please visit the My Planned Care website to find out the average waiting times for hospital appointments and treatment by selecting the service you have been referred to. If you are unsure which service you have been referred to, please check any letters you have received from the hospital.

If you cannot find the service, you can contact the hospital on the telephone numbers listed under general information.

You are likely to have a number of questions as you (or someone you care for) are waiting for medical treatment. The Greater Manchester While You Wait website has a list of frequently asked questions for you to read through. You can view them here on their website.

We want to support you the best we can and are working together with colleagues throughout Greater Manchester. Even though this can be a frustrating time, there are things you can do to improve your health and wellbeing while waiting. We have pulled together key information about services and organisations in Manchester. These may be of use whilst you are waiting.

These services are already supporting thousands of Manchester’s diverse population. They are helping people quit smoking, achieve a healthier weight, be more physically active, manage their drug or alcohol problems better, deal with emotional and mental health problems,  get sexual health support, plus many other things.

This support is available in different ways– self-help using websites and online tools, telephone helplines and face-to-face support. Click the boxes below to look at the support available to you.

If you are worried about your condition while you are waiting, please follow the steps below depending on your situation:

  • If you do not have a hospital appointment and your condition is getting worse.

You should contact your GP. You shouldn’t put off getting any help you need.

  • If you have new symptoms.

You should contact your GP who can then assess, advise and help you manage your new condition.

  • If hospital appointment has come through but your condition is getting worse.

Please contact the hospital specialist secretary/booking team or contact the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.

Greater Manchester While You Wait Website

The Greater Manchester (GM) While you Wait website contains great resources on looking after your physical and mental wellbeing while you wait for care and treatment. It can also guide you to where you might find extra support online.

Some of the information you can find includes:

  • How to stay as fit and healthy as possible while you wait for your treatment and how to prepare for surgery
  • Information and support to look after your mental health
  • Support and advice on managing pain
  • Information on long term conditions
  • What to do if your condition deteriorates
  • Information on eating well and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Answers to patients frequently asked

Click the button to visit the website.

Physical health and wellbeing support

Keeping fit is not only important to your wellbeing but it also helps speed up your recovery after surgery. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting active or quitting smoking can help your physical wellbeing.

If your condition starts to get a bit worse, please do let your GP or consultant know.

Check out the different services that you can use to manage your physical health below.

Be Well

Be Well is a partnership is made up of different organisations that can even help you in different ways. It could be to get on top of work, housing, family and money worries, long term health conditions, stress, loneliness or if you’re feeling a bit low, or you’d like help with stopping smoking.

You can call them on 0161 470 7120 or just ask your GP to put you in touch.

When you come to Be Well, one of their trained coaches will talk to you about the help you need and the goals you want to achieve. Then they will work with you to come up with a plan to get you to where you want to be.

Visit the Be Well website to learn more.


Expert Patients Programme

The Expert Patients Programme is a free NHS course for anyone who has or cares for someone with, a long-term health condition. The programme is run by trained tutors who have experience of self-managing a long-term condition.

In the course you will learn to:

  • Manage physical and emotional difficulties
  • Develop a partnership with your healthcare professionals
  • Plan ahead with support from the team
  • Increase your motivation and feel more positive.

It takes place over six weekly sessions which are once a week for 2.5 hours at local venues throughout Manchester.

For information on course venues across Manchester or to find out more please contact the Expert Patients Programme Team on 0161 371 2105 or email mft.epp@nhs.net.


buzz Manchester Health and Wellbeing Service

buzz is part of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH). It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and communities in Manchester, by helping individuals and families live fuller, healthier, happier and longer lives.

If you have a long-term physical health condition then buzz’s Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) can help you increase your levels of activity in a safe and structured environment. The service provides health screening, advice and access to exercise, led by highly qualified exercise professionals.

The PARS team have launched a Facebook page where you can find a wide range of exercise videos and tips so you can get moving at home. Click this link to go the page. These videos are also available on their YouTube channel here.

Visit the buzz Manchester website to learn more about the service. Speak to your GP or your healthcare professional to get referred to the service. You can also keep track of the latest updates from buzz by following them on Twitter.

Greater Manchester Walking

Greater Manchester Walking is a hub of information to help you walk, stroll, amble, mooch and connect. It is great if you are looking for a walking route to explore the local area or somewhere new. This website is also a great resource if you wanted to help someone you know join a local walking group. For more information click here to visit their website.



MCRactive is a not-for-profit organisation established and overseen by Manchester City Council. It is responsible for running the various world-class leisure and sports centre around Manchester.

Use the Activity Finder function on their website to find individual or team activities.  Depending on your preference, they have lots of fun or serious options; you could even join a club or find social events. Go along on your own, with friends or family; become a volunteer or find a coach. There is something for everyone.


Better Health

Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking, Better Health has lots of free tools and support.

Visit the website to see what little changes you can make to get healthier.


Eat Well

We know that modern life can mean we are a lot busier, less active, and more reliant on convenience and fast food than we used to be. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.

Visit the NHS website to learn more about what makes a healthy diet.

Visit the Change4Life website to learn how you can support your child eat healthier.


Quit Smoking

If you’re going into hospital for an operation, it’s strongly advised that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Quitting smoking before an operation will reduce your chances of complications and speed up your recovery after surgery. It will also make your stay at hospital more comfortable as smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.

Try to quit smoking as soon as you can, as this will give your body as much time as possible to repair itself before surgery.

With help, you’re much more likely to quit smoking than if you use willpower alone. Visit the Make Smoking History website to get free access to the latest quitting aids, one-to-one advice and support in your local area.

You could also talk to a friendly stop smoking advisor over the phone. Call the Greater Manchester Stop Smoking Helpline free on 0300 123 1044 between 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday, including bank holidays.

You can also speak to your GP or local pharmacist for help to stop smoking.

Mental health support

If you are waiting for medical care or treatment, it can be a difficult for you and those around you. There are lots of organisations that offer mental health support, both locally and nationally. You might need different types of support at different times in your life. Sometimes it might just be about getting a bit of advice or sometimes problems are more serious or don’t get better with self-help.

Please see the organisations and the support they can offer below:

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) Helpline

The GMMH mental health helpline is a free service available to everyone at all times. If you feel your mental health is beginning to suffer, contact the helpline by calling 0800 953 0285.


Self Help

Self Help is a user-led mental health charity that offers a range of support and services across the North West of England. It helps people living with anxiety, depression, phobias and panic attacks. Visit their website to find out for more about the services and how to access them.


Rethink Manchester Mental Health Group

This support group is a part of the national charity Rethink Mental Illness. It is a volunteer run support group for anyone in Manchester who is affected by severe or enduring mental illness. It could be through lived experience or as a family member/friend. The aim of the group is to bring people together in a safe non-judgemental environment to share experiences.

Due to Covid-19, Rethink Manchester has moved their meetings online. It takes places every Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30pm on the ‘Zoom’ app. If want to know more or join the meetings, please email the group coordinator Mary Patel on: rethinkmanchester@gmail.com.

Download the ‘Zoom’ App for free on your tablet, phone or computer on the Zoom website here.


42nd Street

42nd Street support young people with their emotional well-being and mental health by offering a choice of effective, creative, young person-centred and rights-based approaches.

It is an inclusive service that is free and confidential. If you are or care for a young person, please visit their website for more information about their services.



Kooth is a platform emotional wellbeing and mental health support service available to children and young people aged between 11 to 25. It is a free digital service that can be accessed through mobile, tablet or desktop.

It provides immediate access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced, accredited counsellors. The service is anonymous and open for support 365 days a year. The timings are 12pm – 10pm on weekdays, and 6pm – 10pm on weekends and holidays.

You can find out more about the service and sign up on their website here.

Covid-19 support

The ongoing pandemic has been difficult.

It has affected all parts of society and the experience has been different for different people.

Lots of support is available for the people of Manchester.

See the information below to see what support is available

Manchester Covid helpline

This is a free telephone service that can help anyone who:

  • Has questions about COVID-19
  • Needs help to book their COVID-19 vaccination
  • Needs help to book COVID-19 testing
  • Has questions on when to isolate.


You can ring the helpline for free on 0800 840 3858

The helpline is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm

Advice will be from the nursing team and a translation service is available.


Long Covid peer support group

If you are recovering from COVID-19, there is a weekly Peer Support Group that can provide you with help and support.

What does it do?

  • Brings together people with shared experiences to support each other
  • Provides a safe and confidential space where you will feel accepted and understood
  • Treat everyone’s experiences as being equally important
  • Involves both giving and receiving support and top tips
  • Helps inform health and social care services about what support and services are needed for people living with the long term effects of COVID.

The Peer Support Group currently meets online on a Wednesday evening from 6pm to 7pm. A WhatsApp group is also available for people to continue conversations throughout the week.

If you are interested in joining the Peer Support Group please email Val at val.bayliss-brideaux@nhs.net or text 07702 66 81 69.


Nuffield Health Covid-19 Rehabilitation Programme

Nuffield Health – UK’s largest healthcare charity, is running a free programme for the rehabilitation of those recovering from Covid-19.

The 12-week programme is led by Rehabilitation Specialists and offers a mix of physical and emotional support. Weeks 1 to 6 will be virtual, meaning you will participate in the programme from your home. For weeks 7 to 12, it is essential that you attend your rehabilitation sessions at a Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing centre closest to you.

The programme has limited places. You can apply to join the programme on the Nuffield Health website here.



Community Hubs

Community Hubs have been set up by councils in each borough of Greater Manchester to provide support for vulnerable people who have to self-isolate. They provide support accessing food or medical supplies to people who have no other means of doing this.

If you are in Manchester, please contact them by phone on 0800 234 6123. They are open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 5.30pm


Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK

The impact of repeated lockdowns and self-isolation has impacted people differently. Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK has collected information on various support networks available in your local community.

If you’re struggling through self-isolation, please don’t feel alone. There are local community groups being created all over the country, which you can find on their website here.

Dental support

The NHS will provide any clinically necessary treatment needed to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain.

To learn more about the dental services that are available on the NHS, visit the NHS website. You can also find a dentist based on your location on the NHS website.

Further information about charges is also available on the website.

Emergency Dental support

If you need help with an urgent dental problem, call our Urgent Dental Care Service on 0333 332 3800, available from 8am to 10pm every day, including weekends and bank holidays.

The service is only available to those meeting strict clinical criteria. During the call, a member of the clinical team will assess you. Urgent dental problems include the following conditions, which should receive self-help advice and treatment (where appropriate) within 24 hours:

  • Dental and soft-tissue infections
  • Severe dental and facial pain: that is, pain that cannot be controlled by the patient following self-help advice
  • Fractured teeth or tooth

Before calling, please remember:

  • The above number should NOT be used by patients who have a regular dentist during normal surgery hours.
  • This is an appointment only service – the Urgent Dental Care providers do not operate a ‘drop-in’ service at any Greater Manchester locations.
  • Each one-off urgent dental care appointment is a fixed NHS patient charge of Band 1, which is currently £23.80. This fee shall be paid each time you access Urgent Dental Care Services.

You can find information about looking after your teeth on the NHS website here. You can also read this patient information leaflet for some useful tips.

Useful Patient Information

The information below and embedded links has some very helpful patient information.


Brush your teeth twice a day

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Read more in our teeth cleaning guide.

Floss between your teeth

Floss or use an interdental brush every day to remove food, debris and plaque lodged between your teeth.

Read more about why it’s important to floss.

Cut down on sugar, and other lifestyle tips

Have a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, not smoking and limiting your alcohol and sugar intake. It’s good for your whole body, including your teeth, gums and mouth.

Read more about why a healthy lifestyle is good for your teeth.

Brush baby teeth as soon as they come through

Start brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as they come through.

Here are tips on how to look after baby teeth, including the importance of avoiding sweetened foods and drinks.

Get children into a teeth-cleaning routine

Help your child have healthy teeth for life by having a good dental health routine.

Read more about how to look after your children’s teeth.

Straighten crooked teeth with braces

More and more teenagers (and some adults) are having braces and orthodontics to straighten their teeth.

Find out more about getting braces

Find out about dental treatments

For information on who can get free dentistry, how to find an NHS dentist and what to expect from your dentist, see NHS dental services.

Read the answers to the most common questions about NHS dentistry.

Community support

Manchester has many organisations that can support you within the community. They can help you with your daily routine things as well as provide any specialist help.

See the boxes below to see the support available

Advice on Prescription

Citizens Advice Manchester (CAM) are working with Manchester GP practices to  offer a ‘Advice on Prescription‘ service. Many of the issues you face can’t be fixed by a GP but speaking to a trained adviser about your concerns may help you to feel healthier and happier.

CAM can help with issues around welfare benefits, rent and money, housing, employment, energy and much more. To use the service, call 0808 278 7800, ask a member of the GP practice team to refer you in, or click here to refer yourself in.


Age UK Manchester

Age UK Manchester is an independent charity dedicated to helping people over 60, their families and carers. It offers information, advice and support on a wide range of issues.

Some of the things they can help you with includes, benefit claims, accessing social care services, identifying your housing options and dealing with debt or utility bills.

Visit their website here to learn more.

Community Care Navigators

Care Navigators work with people over 18 to ensure they are connected with the right services available to them in their neighbourhood. They work closely with NHS services, mental health services, GP’s, social services (council), housing associations, charities, voluntary groups, social enterprise organisations and other community resources to identify any gaps in support and connect you with these services.

The service is available 7 days a week, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.

If you would like to talk to a Care Navigator or make a referral, please contact the Single Point of Access (SPA) team by phone or email:

Find out more about Community Care Navigators here on the Manchester Local Care Organisation website (MLCO).

National support helplines

Sometimes you might need to speak to someone about specific issues.

We’ve compiled a list of charities you can contact. See the boxes below to see the contact details:

British Heart Foundation Heart Helpline – they have cardiac nurses and heart health advisors on hand to help with any questions or concerns you have about heart health and heart conditions.

Call the Helpline – 0300 330 3311

The Helpline is open weekdays 9am to 5pm.
*costs are the same as calling a landline.

Email hearthelpline@bhf.org.uk and a cardiac nurse will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can also chat online with a cardiac nurse on their website. Click here for more information on their website.


Diabetes UK Care Line – a support helpline for anyone with diabetes, their friends, family and carers.

Phone0345 123 2399. Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Email  helpline@diabetes.org.uk

Diabetes UK can help with queries about a range of topics. You find out more on their website here.


Parkinson’s UK Helpline – a free and confidential service providing support to anyone affected by Parkinson’s.

Phone0808 800 0303

The Helpline is open, Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm and Saturday: 10am to 2pm. It is closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

Support is also available for people in the UK whose first language is not English. You can call the helpline directly and request an interpreter.

Email – hello@parkinsons.org.uk

Post – Helpline, Parkinson’s UK, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EJ


Stroke Association Helpline and Information Service – for anyone affected by stroke (stroke survivor, family or friend).

Phone0303 3033 100

Opening hours

Monday, Thursday and Friday – 9am – 5pm
Tuesday and Wednesday – 8am – 6pm
Saturday – 10am – 1pm
Sunday – Closed


You can also direct message them on social media – Facebook or Twitter

Post – Stroke Helpline, Stroke Association, 1 Sterling Business Park, Salthouse Road, Brackmills, Northampton, NN4 7EX

Textphone – 18001 0303 3033 100


Macmillan Cancer Support Helpline – offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones.

Phone0808 808 0000

Open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm. Opening times may vary for different specialist teams.

Email – To email them. fill the enquiry form here on their website.

Chat online – Visit their website using this link to use the service.