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, 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.
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 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 but don’t need to go to A&E, 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, ring 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. The service is free.
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust has a crisis and emergency service. This service is there to support you if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need help quickly. You can access this service through your GP, by calling 111 or by dialling the number for your borough’s emergency service:
Barnet: 020 8702 3456
Enfield: 020 8702 4567
Haringey: 020 8702 5678
Lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
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.
The New ‘Choose Well’ App. Download now!
Local people are now able to download a Choose Well app to help them decide which service is most appropriate for them. Often, people needing medical help on a public holiday go straight to A&E. It’s important to remember that there may be another NHS service – such as a GP surgery or out-of-hours service, pharmacy, walk-in or urgent care centre or the NHS 111 number – that might be better placed to help.
The Choose Well app is free to download on Apple and Android devices through Apple Store and Google Play. It is available in several different languages, including Turkish, Polish and Somali. Alternatively, you can call the NHS 111 service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians. To access the GP out of hours service in Barnet, you should call the NHS 111 number.