​​​Urgent and emergency care

Urgent and emergency care covers the services you need when you are ill and need to be seen by a doctor or nurse straight away. Urgent care relates to less serious health problems, like a cut or sprain that can be treated at an Urgent Care Centre. Walk-in Centres deal with minor illnesses when you cannot wait to be seen by your GP. Emergency care is when you have a life threatening accident or illness and you have to be treated in a major hospital. For more information or to find a service local to you, go to the Your Health section of this website.

Our plans to improve urgent care

Our urgent care plans are developed and managed across Lambeth and Southwark. We want to help local people use health services urgently when it's not necessarily an emergency. We want to support services in the community including at GPs to provide better and more consistent alternatives to Accident & Emergency (A&E).

Providing reliable alternatives to A&E

Over the past year, we have been working with Guy's and St Thomas' and other key stakeholders to improve the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) on the St Thomas' hospital site. In addition building work is underway to rebuild the A&E to include a front ended UCC  which is due to be completed by August 2017. The redeveloped  UCC will offer a 24 hour service 365 days of the year.

We have also developed services to divert clinically appropriate people who arrive at A&E to be seen by other more suitable services.

Offering more urgent care services at GP surgeries and pharmacies


Nearly half of people who attend an Emergency Department are discharged without requiring treatment. If you don’t have a serious illness or life-threatening condition you could be seen quicker and closer to home at a GP Surgery.

We are also developing schemes to improve the urgent care services you can get at your GP surgery and pharmacy. We will be working closely with the primary care programme to offer healthy living advice in pharmacies and to develop urgent access by appointment to GP and practice nurses through local surgeries. For more information please contact your GP surgery.


NHS 111 is a telephone service which can check your symptoms and advise you on where best to go for treatment.