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
NHS 111 is much more than a helpline. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist, or even a GP and if they think you need it, they're able to arrange face-to-face appointments. NHS 111 is staffed by fully trained advisors who can assess if you need if an ambulance, and if you do, one will be sent immediately.
You can also visit NHS 111 online.
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.
Many surgeries are open longer hours now, however, if your surgery is closed, call your local GP Out of Hours service provided by the South East London Doctors on Call (SELDOC) on 020 8693 9066.
This service may provide you with an over-the-phone consultation or ask you to attend one of their clinics for an out-of-hours appointment.
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