Accident and Emergency: Choosing the right care

Choosing the right care ensures you receive the right care at the right time and that emergency medical care is available to those people who need it the most.

Self care

NHS 111

Pharmacy

GPs

Urgent care

Mental health


Choosing the right care

Self care

A lot of common conditions can be treated by you at home. If you’ve got a cold or a sore throat for instance, you should take an over-the-counter medicine and get plenty of rest. We recommend keeping in your medicine cabinet paracetamol or aspirin, antidiarrhoea medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedy, plasters and a thermometer. That way you’ll be ready for any minor illness or injury that you or your family may suffer.


NHS 111

NHS 111 is a service that is being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

More information from NHS 111.


Pharmacy

Pharmacies can be found in local areas across London. Your local pharmacist can give you advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.

Visit a pharmacist when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.

More information on pharmacy care on the NHS Stay well website.


GPs

GP surgeries can be found across London. You can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. In an emergency, a GP can also visit your home outside of opening hours – if you need this service, telephone your local surgery and follow the recorded instructions.

Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away.

GP practices are also open as normal, except on Bank Holidays (26-27 December and 2 January), throughout the Christmas period.


Urgent care

We have an Minor Injuries Unit at Mount Vernon Hospital for minor illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life threatening. It is open 8am to 9pm daily. You do not need an appointment, and you will be seen by an specially-trained nurse. They will contact a senior doctor when necessary.

There is also an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Hillingdon Hospital, for medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.

Our A&E department at Hillingdon Hospital is open 24/7 for serious injuries and illnesses. Please use A&E wisely so the doctors and nurses there can focus on people with the most serious health needs.

You should only call 999 in an emergency. If it is not a life-threatening situation, consider the other options available to you.


Mental health

You should make an appointment to see your GP if you think you have a mental illness. Mental health services are free on the NHS, but you will usually need a referral from your GP to access them. There are some mental health services that will allow people to refer themselves for help. This commonly includes services for drug and alcohol problems, as well as some psychological therapy services.

For routine, urgent and emergency referrals, information and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days per year call – 0800 0234 650


Woman choosing a product at the pharmacy