Get the right care for you
It’s important you choose the right place to get the right care for you. Not only will you be seen quicker, you’ll also free up our emergency department staff to treat serious and life-threatening conditions.
Often, your GP is the right person to visit if you feel ill. If you’re not registered with a GP, visit NHS.uk to find practices close to you.
Do not attend A&E, urgent care or walk-in centres, or your GP if you have these symptoms:
- a dry cough
- high temperature
- loss of smell (anosmia) or taste
The NHS 111 symptom checker will tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.
Use this service if:
- you think you might have COVID-19
- you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19
- in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus
Grazed knees, coughs, colds and sore throat
Keep your medicine cabinet stocked up with over-the-counter remedies.
Self-care is all about prevention, so remember:
Get your flu jab
It’s free for:
- over 65s
- people with long-term conditions, and some carers of elderly or unwell people
- pregnant mums
- young children (aged 2 and 3, in reception class, or in school years 1, 2, 3, and 4)
Keep warm, keep well
- keep warm to reduce the risk of cold and flu, heart attacks, stroke, pneumonia, and even depression
- heat your house to at least 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) if you’re living with people over 65
Not sure? Feeling unwell? Need to know where to go?
Call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk when you need medical help fast but you’re not sure where to go, and it’s not a life-threatening emergency.
NHS 111 is open 24 hours a day throughout the year, and staffed by trained medical advisors.
They’ll ask you a couple of questions to direct you to the most appropriate care.
Tummy troubles, headaches, or coughs and colds
Speak to your local pharmacist for advice about common illnesses and treatments.
Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional, so they’re able to tell you about remedies for common problems such as tummy troubles, headaches, and coughs and colds. Some pharmacists can give you your flu jab, too.
Ongoing and long-term conditions, or illnesses and injuries that won’t go away
Make an appointment with your GP if you need:
- advice about physical or mental health issues
- diagnosis or treatment for a range of conditions
- help with your long-term care
- a referral to specialist or community-based care
You may find your local practice also provides:
- blood tests
- wound care and dressing
- some diabetes treatments
Need to see a GP in the evening or over the weekend?
You can book an out-of-hours appointment by calling your GP, or NHS 111 when they are closed.
You need to be registered with a GP, so find a practice close to you at NHS.uk.
Spotting the signs of sepsis in children
Mental health needs
If you need to speak to someone about your mental health, speak to your GP for advice on how to deal with your symptoms. They’ll be able to point to you towards therapies and treatments in your area.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis
- for Brent and Harrow, call 0800 0234 650
- for Ealing, call 030 0123 4244
Lines are open 24 hours a day.
In an emergency
If you or someone else is in immediate, life threatening danger, call 999.
Sprains, strains, and minor injuries
Your local walk-in centre or urgent care centre are here to treat minor injuries or illnesses that need urgent care, but not serious enough for A&E:
- sprains and strains
- minor broken bones
- minor wound infections
- minor burns and scalds
- minor head injuries
- minor eye injuries
You don’t need an appointment – just walk in and you’ll be seen by a nurse or doctor.
A&E is for serious, life-threatening injuries or illnesses only
- loss of consciousness
- persistent, severe chest pain
- breathing difficulties and choking
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe broken bones or burns
In a life-threatening emergency, always call 999. The paramedics will take you to the right A&E department for your condition, and not necessarily to your local hospital.