A&E won't kiss it better… we deal only with real emergencies
Injured or unwell?
Don't just go to A&E if it's not a serious emergency.
Alternative services are available, download our leaflet
outlining local health services or 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.
Want local health advice?
NHS 111 is a free phone service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It offers a one-stop number for patients with urgent, but not life-threatening symptoms who want a fast and easy way to get help when they need it.
You should call 111 if:
- It's not a 999 emergency
- You think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
- You don't think it can wait for an appointment with your GP
- You don't know who to call for medical help
For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in the usual way.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.
Coughs and colds / Grazes / Hangover
You can treat these 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. Free emergency contraception is also available at some local pharmacies.
You can find details of your nearest pharmacy at www.nhs.uk
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 open longer hours, however, if your surgery is closed, call the usual practice number and you will be given the number to call or be automatically diverted to NHS 111.
Urgent care centre
If you have an urgent but non-life-threatening illness or condition, attend the urgent care centre.
The urgent care centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Urgent Care Centre, St George's Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London SW17 0QT
Tel: 020 8672 1255
- Urgent Care Centre, St Helier Hospital, SM5 1AA
Tel: 020 8296 2000
Blacking out / Bleeding you can't stop / Severe chest pain / Choking / Loss of consciousness / Stroke
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.
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:
- Kingston Hospital, Galsworthy Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 7QB
- St Helier Hospital, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 1AA
- St George's Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London, SE17 0QT