Helping you to choose the right NHS service if you become ill or injured is the focus of ‘Choose Well’, a new joint campaign by Camden and Islington Clinical Commissioning Groups this winter.
With increasing pressures on A&E, particularly in winter, it is crucial to know what service to choose to best treat your symptoms. Not only can you can get faster and better treatment by choosing the right NHS service, but you will help us reduce the pressure on emergency services, so they can help those in most need.
Find out about NHS services available to you below.
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, anti-diarrhoea 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.
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice about over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common conditions, and there’s no need for an appointment. Just visit your local pharmacist. To find your nearest pharmacist visit NHS Choices www.nhs.uk or call 0300 311 22 33.
If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, it’s best to visit your GP. You’ll have to make an appointment to get the treatment you need from your GP, but this way you’ll help us reduce the demand on emergency services.
Urgent care and walk-in centres
If you can’t wait for an appointment with your GP and you need treatment immediately, go to your local urgent care or walk-in centre for treatment or advice. Urgent care centres treat most injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening; for example sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. You don’t need an appointment, just turn up and you will be seen promptly by either a doctor or nurse.
111 is the new NHS free phone number to call when you need medical help fast, but it’s not an emergency. So if you’re unsure about where to go, call 111. They’ll assess you and advise you where you should go to get the best treatment for your condition. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is free.
If you’re feeling distressed, anxious or need help with your mental health then please see your GP or contact our experts at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) on 020 3317 6800 during office hours . We also have useful information on our specialist Psychological Therapies Service website www.icope.nhs.uk
Out of hours please call NHS 111
If you are already known to C&I please follow the information in your crisis plan.
In an emergency please call 999.
A&E or 999
A&E departments are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat people with serious and life-threatening emergencies. If you or someone with you is suffering from chest pain or is choking, has blacked out or is losing blood, don’t hesitate, call 999 or go straight to A&E where you’ll be seen immediately.
For non-emergencies or less urgent illnesses and injuries, please use the other services listed above. That way you will help us reduce the pressure on A&E departments so they can help those people most in need.