Getting Help at Castle Surgery

Help with a condition >

Get advice about a specific condition

I would like some advice

Get advice about symptoms you’ve been experiencing

Help with admin >

Request help with GP letters, sick notes or discuss recent tests

Help with prescriptions >

Get help with medications or prescribed items

Getting you to the right place:

Whilst the internet is a powerful place, we need to know that we’re reading the right type of reliable information.

Here are places we would recommend as a starting point to either learn about a condition you have or about potential conditions based on symptoms.

  • With over 10,000 patients at Castle Surgery, we want to ensure we get you and those you care about to the right place at the right time.
  • Did you know that there are several that you can access without needing to wait to speak with a clinician at Castle Surgery?
Check your Symptoms to find out what actions you might have to take

Choosing Well: Who should I see first?

We work as a team and our goal is to get you to the right set of team members.

Click the headings to read which is the right NHS service to seek help from.

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds
  • stroke
  • major trauma such as a road traffic accident
  • When you need to go to A&E but are too unwell to get there safely.
  • Any immediate threat to life/safety
  • For advice 24/7 when it is URGENT but NOT AN EMERGENCY
  • This is particularly recommended by our team as GPs, Nurses, Paramedics, Pharmacists and other clinicians help to cover out of hours when Castle Surgery is closed (After 6:30pm, weekends and Bank Holidays unless stated otherwise)
  • Adults and children over the age of one who have had an accident within the last couple of weeks can be seen at the Minor Injury Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital,It is open between 7.30am and 11.00pm, seven days a week, at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Baglan Way, Port Talbot, SA12 7BX. Contact number: 01639 862160

    An experienced team of specially-trained emergency nurse practitioners, triage nurses and health care support workers treat patients for minor conditions including:

    • cuts and minor burns
    • sprains and strains
    • broken bones
    • dislocation of the shoulder, fingers and toes
    • head and facial injuries with no loss of consciousness and the patient is not taking anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication.
    • neck injuries, where you are mobile with no pins and needles in your arms
    • back injuries where you are mobile and the pain has not occurred from you twisting your back or lifting something
    • foreign bodies to eyes, ears and nose
    • non-penetrating eye and ear injuries
    • rib injuries where you are not coughing up blood and you don’t have a chest infection
    • bites (insect, animal or human)
    • insect stings
    • assaults.

    The team CANNOT TREAT:

    • symptoms of Covid-19
    • colds, coughs, sore throats, earache, rashes, temperatures
    • urinary infections, cystitis or catheter problems
    • dental problems
    • accident with injury to abdomen/stomach
    • chest pain
    • breathing problems
    • stroke
    • painful limbs, joints or backs
    • skin complaints including boils and rashes
    • wounds that have not been caused during an accident.

Visiting your local pharmacy is a great way to access prompt advice and treatments for common conditions, especially after GP surgeries have closed for the day and on the weekends.

Some of the work traditionally done by GPs is now done by pharmacists instead. This includes giving prescription-only medications for a number of minor ailments when necessary without the need to see a doctor. And, like other medications in Wales, these are also free.

You have to register with the pharmacy to use the scheme, but the process only takes a few minutes.

Consultations are carried out in a private room and if the pharmacist decides you still need to see a doctor they will refer you.

  • Acne
  • Athletes’ foot
  • Backache (acute)
  • Chickenpox
  • Cold sores
  • Colic
  • Conjunctivitis (bacterial)
  • Constipation
  • Dermatitis (acute)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry eye
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Hayfever
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion/reflux
  • Ingrowing toenail
  • Intertrigo/ringworm
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy rash
  • Oral thrush
  • Scabies
  • Sore throat/tonsillitis
  • Teething
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Verruca

If tooth or gum pain develops contact your own dentist as they can provide emergency treatment.

If you are not registered with a practice or develop a problem outside of normal working hours ring 111 and they will help you find your nearest emergency dentist.

If you receive urgent dental treatment the charge will be £14 unless you are exempt from paying NHS charges. If you do not have to pay for treatment, you will be asked to provide evidence of this when you attend the practice.

Toothache on its own (for example, toothache with no other accompanying symptoms or signs) is not a dental emergency. Patients with toothache should not attend an Emergency Department.

Your Content Goes Here

The assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common and more complex lower limb problems associated with toe nails, soft tissues and the musculoskeletal system.

0300 300 0024

Community patients can access the service directly and do not require a referral from their GP or another medical or health practioner. The service is available to people who live in the Swansea Bay Health Board. area only. The Podiatry Department does not offer a routine nail cutting service. Please note that you cannot use Podiatry Direct if you already attend a NHS Podiatry clinic.


Level 1 Port Talbot Resource Centre

Moor Road

Baglan Moors

Port Talbot

SA12 7BJ

Mental Health Crisis >

Need help fast?

There are a number of FREE helplines and websites:

Contacting Castle Surgery

Let’s get started.

For advice about a condition, or if you’re unsure who you need to get in touch with, please take a look at the interactive Symptom Checker.

This will guide you through a list of questions and advise you on what you’ll need to do.

If you’re still not sure, get in touch with our reception team.

01639 622 050

Lines open at 08:00 AM, Monday to Friday.

Triage times are 08:00 am to 11:00 AM.

Sometimes, due to capacity being reached, triage is closed sooner to allow patients to be treated safely.

Triage allows the clinicians to manage large volume of calls by prioritising urgency of calls.

This is why our Medical Reception are trained to ask you certain questions because this can enable us to quickly decide what action needs to be taken.

Our Medical Reception team are trained to ask you certain questions because this can enable the clinicians to quickly decide what action needs to be taken.

You do not have to disclose anything but it helps you and it helps our clinicians know the context of your call.

We apologise that we cannot guarantee when you will be called back. Castle Surgery is open from 08:00 am and closes at 6:30pm.

Your team of clinicians will aim to call you back as soon as they are able and we are grateful for your understanding that at times there may be others in our community that become acutely unwell or require urgent medical attention.

PLEASE NOTE: Castle Surgery is a General Practice and not an emergency service.

We would like our patients to be safe and NOT wait for any call backs if you are experiencing any symptoms or problems that cannot wait and should be helped instead by our emergency colleagues.

Likewise, if your problem isn’t an emergency or immediately lifethreatening, please avoid going to A&E.

In the event that you are unsure, by all means, please call us and we aim to help you as soon as we can.

There are many instances that your clinician will ask you to attend to be seen or examined.

This is to confirm what your clinician is suspecting as diagnosis from what you’ve told them.

However, not everyone will need to be seen. Often our patients don’t want to be seen or just want advice or information.

According to, it is said that over 80% of diagnosis are made on history alone.

With the advent of video and pictures, that increases the number.

This is because your history of events, the context of your background helps to paint a picture of a pattern of what most likely is happening.

Common things occur commonly but you will also be asked questions to ensure you aren’t experiencing anything that is sinister or needs to be dealt with as an emergency.

That said, there will be times when we would offer an appointment.

  1. Summerton N; The medical history as a diagnostic technology. Br J Gen Pract. 2008 Apr58(549):273-6. doi: 10.3399/bjgp08X279779.

To ensure those frail and vulnerable in the community still receive the right care, we may need to arrange home visits.

We are grateful for your understanding in prioritising patients who are housebound.

Castle Surgery has an excellent paramedic who liases with either the doctors or  advanced nurse practitioner. Because of the success of having a paramedic in the community, Neath has also been fortunate to have the service of the Neath Cluster paramedic too.

Getting help with admin

Are you waiting for test results? Hoping to get a letter from the doctor? Do you need to arrange a sicknote?

We routinely send out letters to discuss test results with our patients.

This is often to ensure we get the result in the context of your symptoms and what’s been happening.

The team requesting your test is often the ones best placed to discuss your results.

Sometimes if the hospital requests a test, we may not have access to the result for some time.

Also as some tests results require speciality training to interpret, our colleagues in secondary/tertiary care will be contacting you about those results

Routine X-rays can take up to two weeks to get the report.

Other type of scans may take longer.

Please let us know if you’ve moved address or changed phone numbers.

It’s useful for us in case we or the hospital need to send you letters or phone you.

Either call us on 01639 622 050 or email us your details at

When do I need a fit note?

7 days off sick or less

If you’re off work sick for 7 days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence that you’ve been ill. Instead they can ask you to confirm that you’ve been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.


More than 7 days off sick

If you’re off work sick for more than 7 days, your employer will usually ask for a fit note (or Statement of Fitness for Work) from a GP or hospital doctor. Fit notes are sometimes referred to as medical statements or a doctor’s note.

If you need to arrange a doctor’s letter, there will be a charge of £35.

Why is there a payment?

The preparations of these letters or reports is not covered by the NHS. The doctor must complete these in their own time as such there is a payable fee. The doctors will take their time to review the medical records to ensure the information provided is correct. These may then be dictated and subsequently needed to be typed and printed

How long will it take?

Private letters do not take priority over NHS work so may take some time to prepare. Please allow at least two weeks. In genuinely urgent cases we will do our best to meet your deadline however we cannot promise this. If you cannot wait, we will refund your fee if the letter has not yet been written.

‘The Doctor has to write these exact words…’

We’d like to apologise that we cannot usually accept requests for the letter to be written in a specific way.  The letter will however be written by what is supported in your medical records.

Please take a look at the form below. Once you fill this in, we will aim to contact you to confirm the arrangements.

We have a team dedicated to organising the insurance documents and medicals. They’ll liaise with the doctors who aim to complete the forms as soon as they can (though it can take up to 28 days in some instances from when the clinician receives the form)