Choose well

Where you should go for help and advice

Choosing well for help and advice 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.

If you or your child feel unwell and ‘over the counter’ medicines are not helping, then don’t wait for it to get worse – speak to your GP and it may avoid a trip to hospital. Make sure that your medicine cabinet is stocked up with basics, such as paracetamol, plasters and a thermometer.

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


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.



Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns. As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

Pharmacies can be found across the country. 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.

Find a pharmacy near you

NHS 111

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 go online at NHS 111 online, or 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
  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you're not sure what to do
  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription

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.

GP (doctor)


GP surgeries can be found across London and are usually the first contact if you have a health problem. They can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services. 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.

For details of your GP out-of-hours service (during the night and at weekends) you should call the usual phone number for your surgery and listen to the answerphone message.

How to register with a GP surgery

NHS Urgent Care Service

Urgent care We have an Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner Service at Mount Vernon Hospital for minor illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life threatening.

Book an appointment via NHS 111 online or by calling 111. Appointments can be made for a telephone consultation from 8am to 7pm, and until 8pm for face-to-face appointments. You can book an appointment by telephoning the unit directly on 01923 844263, and lines are open 8am-7pm, seven days a week.

Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) - Our UTC is equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common injuries and ailments that people have when they attend the ED. The service will be provided by emergency practitioners, GPs, emergency medicine clinicians and registered nurses.

A&E or 999

Emergency care If you are injured or seriously ill, you can go to the Emergency Department by yourself or get friends/family to take you. In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you are not sure if it is an emergency, call 111 for NHS telephone service when you need medical help fast, but when it isn’t a 999 emergency.

Our Emergency Department (A&E) is located at Hillingdon Hospital.  Please note that there is not an A&E at Mount Vernon Hospital.