Need to call on the NHS this weekend? Save your time by getting it right, say Lewisham GPs
Many of us are looking forward to the long bank holiday weekend ahead – and GPs in Lewisham are asking patients to make the most of the extra day off work by using the most appropriate NHS service if they need medical help or advice.
"The weather might be looking like a mixed bag over the long weekend, but many of us will be making the most of our time off and getting out and about" says Dr Marc Rowland, local GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
"If you need to use NHS services over the bank holiday, using the right one can ensure that you get the fastest, most appropriate treatment. Whilst many people automatically head to A&E when something goes wrong, this is often not the best option, particularly for minor problems such as coughs, colds, strains and sprains.
"A&E is for serious accidents and emergencies. If you've sprained your ankle, cut your finger or are suffering with a cough or cold, you will get faster and more appropriate advice elsewhere. After all, who wants to spend their bank holiday sitting in a busy A&E department when they don't really need to?"
What other NHS services are available to Lewisham residents:
- Self-care – people suffering from minor ailments such as coughs and colds, grazes and hangovers should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy
- Pharmacies – your local pharmacist is qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat headaches, an upset stomach and other common illnesses
- GP out-of-hours service – If you need to see a doctor when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services are available from SELDOC (South East London Doctors Cooperative) on 020 8693 9066. A call handler will take your details and a local GP will call you back within 60 minutes or sooner if necessary. If you need to be seen, a convenient appointment can be booked on the same day with SELDOC at their sites at Lewisham Urgent Care Centre, Dulwich Community Hospital in East Dulwich or Gracefield Gardens walk in centre in Streatham.
- Urgent Care Centre (UCC) – with no appointment necessary your local urgent care centre is managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries, such as cuts, burns, sprains and suspected breaks. The Lewisham UCC, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LH or call 020 8333 3000 or visitwww.lewishamandgreenwich.nhs.uk
- Walk-in centre - with no appointment necessary your local walk in centre is managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries, such as cuts, burns, sprains and suspected breaks. The Waldron Health Centre can be found at Suite 3 Waldron Health Centre, Amersham Vale, London SE14 6LD.
People can download a guide to local alternative services from here.