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Support your local NHS – use the right service this bank holiday weekend

May bank holiday weekend is so close and as many prepare to tackle the garden and dabble in DIY, local people are reminded that A&E is for life-threatening illnesses only and that alternative health services are available locally.

A&E departments are very busy during bank holidays. Using the right health service for your needs can prevent you waiting hours in A&E, ensure you receive more appropriate treatment more quickly and free up local A&E staff to help those patients with the most serious conditions.

Adrian McLachlan, Chair of Lambeth CCG, said: "Residents shouldn’t use the ambulance service and A&E as an alternative to their GP. If your GP practice is closed you can call South East London Doctors on Call on 0203 693 9066 they can provide you with an over-the-phone consultation or ask you to attend one of their clinics for an out-of-hours appointment."  

In Lambeth you can go to Guy’s Urgent Care Centre at Guy’s Hospital without an appointment if you have a minor illness or injuries like cuts, burns, sprains and suspected breaks. For everyday cuts and bruises, I would advise visiting your local pharmacist as your first port of call. They are qualified to advise on health issues and medication as well as treat headaches, an upset stomach or other common ailments.

It’s concerning how many people are attending A&E – around 40 per cent – but are discharged without needing treatment when they could have received the help they needed more swiftly elsewhere.

If you’re looking for more information on the services available to you, visit  for guidance.