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 Simple steps to keep well this summer

As the beautiful warm weather rolls on in London this month, it’s important to remember that the change in temperature can cause health risks.

Last summer alone, 1800 patients people a day attended A&E in south east London. Based on national surveys, we know that about 800 of them could have got quicker and more appropriate treatment elsewhere.

The ‘not always A&E’ yellow men campaign is back for the summer, in a bid to get local people thinking about whether A&E is the right place for them. Summer symptoms can be easily prevented and treatment is available from services closer than people might think.

A&E is for serious emergencies only. Hospitals are very busy places all year round, A&E staff deal with life threatening emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks. If you’re suffering from summer symptoms like dehydration, heatstroke and hayfever you can treat yourself at home or visit your local pharmacy.   

Many people forget that their local pharmacists are trained clinicians who can provide expert advice on how to help manage illnesses, as well as providing guidance on the best treatments. Other services like SELDOC - the GP out of hours services in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark - is also available should you need to see your GP out of hours. If you call your GP surgery after it’s closed you’ll be redirected.

Most of the time, you can avoid feeling uncomfortable or unwell altogether by making sure you are prepared for the hot weather. Stay hydrated – carry a bottle of water with you, especially if you’re heading out for the day or making a long journey. It’s also a good idea to wear cool clothing and stay out of the heat between 11am to 3pm to make sure you keep safe this summer.

Pick up a ‘not always A&E’ leaflet at your local GP surgery or pharmacy for more advice on which health service is right for you.