South west Londoners are being asked to support their local NHS over the bank holiday weekend by only using 999 and A&E in emergencies.
The NHS remains very busy, but people can continue to get urgent care – GPs are offering more appointments, including evenings and weekends, for people with urgent health needs.
Most appointments will be by telephone or through video consultation, but face to face appointments are still offered if necessary.
GP practices will let their patients know how to access urgent medical help between 8am and 8pm, with contact information also available on practice websites. People can also visit 111online or call 111 at any time, where they will be asked some questions about symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone.
Using 999 is for emergencies and should only be called if the situation is life-threatening.
Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, lead GP for Merton, said:
“Our teams are working incredibly hard to provide Londoners with the best possible care should they become unwell. We have extra GP services and more appointments on evenings and weekends – if you have a health concern over the bank holiday weekend, contact your GP practice or use their website to find out what your local arrangements are, or use the NHS 111 online service for health advice.
“We are also urging people to support the NHS and remember that 999 is for emergencies and should only be called if the situation is life-threatening, such as chest pain, blackouts, a serious injury, or if you think you’re having a stroke.
“Despite the NHS being extremely busy, frontline staff continue to work to address the Covid-19 backlogs and roll out the NHS spring booster programme, so please do come forward for your Covid-19 jabs.”
If you need urgent health care
- If it is serious or a life-threatening emergency, then call 999
- If you are told to go to hospital, then you must go. The NHS will help you get the care you need.
If you need urgent mental health care
- For Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Sutton or Wandsworth ring the 24/7 crisis line at South West London St George’s 0800 028 8000 – https://www.swlstg.nhs.uk/patients-carers/crisis-support/mental-health-support-line
- For Croydon call South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust on 0800 731 2864 (Option 1) https://www.slam.nhs.uk/patients-and-carers/crisis-support/
If you need advice from a pharmacist that is not related to coronavirus
- For minor medical problems, not related to coronavirus, many local pharmacies will be open and are able to help this weekend – although their opening times may be different
- A number of pharmacies in London will be open for longer hours – search for a pharmacy at www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy
If you think you need urgent dental treatment
- Call your dentist
- If you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service or call if you cannot get online
- If an appointment is necessary, this will be arranged at an urgent dental care centre.
If you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
- Stay at home and visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for health advice
- Do not go to your GP practice, pharmacy or A&E
- If your symptoms worsen, or you feel that you cannot manage at home, please visit the NHS111 online coronavirus service. Call 111 if you cannot get online or you’ve been told to do so.
If you or people you live with do not have coronavirus symptoms and you think you need advice from a GP
- GP services are available this Bank Holiday weekend
- Contact your practice online or by phone to be assessed
- If your practice is not open but an appointment is necessary, you will be advised of the next steps. Your appointment may be at another nearby service.
- Vaccine clinics remain open across south west London, details available here – https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/covid/vaccination-walk-in-clinics/
- Vaccines are available for
- 1st and 2nd doses for people aged 5 years old and over
- boosters for people aged 16 years old and over, plus at-risk children aged 12 to 15 years old
- spring boosters for people aged 75 years old and over, plus people aged 12 years old and over with a weakened immune system
- additional primary doses for people with a severely weakened immune system aged 12 years old and over