Injured or unwell?
Don't just go to A&E if it's not a serious emergency. Alternative services are available. Visit www.nhs.uk where you can enter your postcode and hit the 'Find service' button.
Find the right service to treat you – it may be quicker, and even closer to your home. Using the right service means you don't spend hours waiting in A&E, and treatment can be given quicker to those really in need of urgent care.
Coughs and colds / Diarrhoea / Headache / Grazes / Hangover / Minor illnesses / Upset stomach
You can treat these sorts of conditions at home - in fact, that's the best place for you.
Self care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. A range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest.
Make sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with:
- A thermometer
- Aspirin (not for under 16yrs)
- Rehydration mixture
- Anti-diarrhoea medicine
- Indigestion remedy
Diarrhoea / Headache / Sore throat / Painful cough / Runny nose / Minor illnesses / Upset stomach / Skin conditions
Your pharmacist is a healthcare professional who can provide advice and treatment for these common conditions as well as dispensing prescriptions.
A number of local pharmacies in Lambeth offer advice and medicines for a range of conditions, without appointment. Free emergency contraception is also available at some local pharmacies.
You can find details of your nearest pharmacy at www.nhs.uk
For urgent medical concerns
NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency.
- you think you might need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.
You can also access NHS 111 online 111.nhs.uk
Back ache / Ear pain / High temperature / Vomiting
These are some of the things your GP can help you with. Your GP is your first port of call for on-going illnesses or injuries.
Your GP provides a range of services by appointment and will be able to assess your immediate needs as well as refer you into a specialist service, such as outpatients, if necessary. They also know your medical history so are best placed to manage you.
If you cannot get an immediate GP appointment at your own practice, the receptionist can book you to see a GP or practice nurse at one of the GP Access Hubs in Lambeth.
Urgent care centre
Cuts / Burns / Sprains / Strains / Suspected breaks / Minor head injuries / Bites and stings
If you have an urgent but non-life-threatening illness or condition, attend the urgent care centre.
Always consider an alternative service appropriate to your needs.
Guy’s Urgent Care Centre at Guy’s Hospital
Tabard Annexe, Great Maze Pond
020 3049 8970
Opening hours: 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
Blacking out / Bleeding you can't stop / Severe chest pain / Choking / Stroke/ Suspected breaks
These are all emergencies and you need urgent hospital care.
Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments and 999 should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people with very serious or life-threatening illness or injury.
At A&E the most seriously ill patients will be seen before those with less urgent care conditions. This means that some people have to wait for several hours or they may be signposted to their GP, pharmacist or other healthcare services who will be able to assist them.
Dial 999 or go immediately to your nearest A&E department:
Guy’s & St Thomas' A&E is at Guy’s & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust,
Westminster, Bridge Road,
King's College Hospital A&E, Denmark Hill
Page updated 21.11.18