Getting the right treatment

If you do not require urgent care, you will likely wait a long time for treatment, as we must prioritise our patients with the most urgent needs.

Help us help you get the treatment you need

Urgent and emergency care services across North West London are very busy including our A&Es at West Middlesex University Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Our staff work hard to keep patients safe and see them as quickly as possible. If you do not require urgent care, you will likely wait a long time for treatment, as we must prioritise our patients with the most urgent needs.

There are a number of different services you can access for care or treatment—below are brief explanations and what you should use them for. Always call 999 in an emergency and only use A&E for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Pharmacies

Your local pharmacist, or chemist, is highly trained. They can offer advice and suggest medicines or treatments for a range of common problems such as coughs, colds, upset stomachs, aches and pains. They often provide additional services such as:

  • Emergency contraception
  • Needle exchange and supervised drug administration
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Stop smoking services
  • Chlamydia screening and treatment
  • Flu vaccine

To find your nearest pharmacist, visit www.nhs.uk or call 111.

GPs

To see a General Practitioner (GP) at your doctor's surgery you will need to be registered and make an appointment. GPs have access to your medical records so they can see all your health needs. When you see your GP they can:

  • Provide advice on physical and mental health problems
  • Provide diagnosis and treatment for a range of conditions
  • Help you with long-term care
  • Arrange referrals to hospital specialists and community-based services when necessary

Registering with a GP

It is very important that you are registered with a GP and you must be registered to make an appointment. This also lets you get referred to specialist hospital and community treatment if you need it. For help registering visit www.nhs.uk.

NHS 111

If you have an urgent medical problem with non-life-threatening symptoms, NHS 111 can help you get the support you need. 111 is free to call and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When you call 111, you will speak to an adviser from the NHS 111 team—the team has trained advisers, nurses and GPs who can help you and they will ask you questions to find out what help you need.

The 111 adviser will be able to:

  • Decide what medical help you need
  • Tell you where you need to go to get this medical help
  • Transfer your call to the service you need
  • Book an out-of-hours GP appointment for you, if needed

Urgent Care Centres (UCCs)

UCCs are used in cases where urgent medical attention is needed but it is not a life-threatening situation. 

A&E

A&E (also known as Emergency Department or ED) should be your first point of treatment for patients with a genuine life-threatening emergency.

999

999 should only be called in a medical or mental health emergency, in cases of serious illness or injury which can place someone’s life at risk.

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