​Use the Right Service

This winter we're asking the residents of Greenwich, Lewisham and Bexley to help us, help you to stay well this winter.  If you or one of your loved ones is feeling unwell make sure you use the right service. You can take many actions to help the NHS to help you, by following the expert advice of NHS staff; people can help the NHS help them stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner. We've designed the campaign below to help our residents to use the right service. Look out for it on Twitter and Face Book and share with your friends and followers.

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How to use your Health Services

If you are feeling unwell it is important to use the right health service. Please follow the following advice should you become unwell and need health advice or treatment:

Speak to a Pharmacist

Pharmacists are medically trained and can give you expert advice on medicines and how they work as well as help you decide whether you need to see a doctor. You don't need an appointment or even make a purchase and you can talk to them in a private consultation area and in confidence.

Common complaints which can be treated at home with advice from the pharmacist include:

  • Skin conditions, such as mild acne and mild eczema
  • Coughs and colds including nasal congestion and sore throat
  • Minor cuts and bruises
  • Constipation and haemorrhoids (piles)
  • Hay fever and allergies
  • Aches, pains, such as headaches, earaches and backaches
  • Indigestion, diarrhoea and threadworms
  • Period pain and thrush
  • Warts and verrucas, mouth ulcer and cold sores
  • Athletes foot
  • Nappy rash and teething

Call NHS 111

If you think you need to see a doctor in the evening, over the weekend or on a Bank Holiday, for something which you feel cannot wait, call 111.

Trained call handlers will assess your symptoms and put you directly in touch with the people who can help; for example, an out-of -hours doctor, a district nurse or an emergency dentist — or it may be something as simple as a 24 hour pharmacy. But NHS 111 can also send an ambulance, without delay, if required.

You should use the NHS 111 service if:

  • you need medical help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call for medical help or you don't have a GP to call
  • you require health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP in the usual way.

Calls to 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Your GP

GPs provide a range of services including medical advice, examinations, prescriptions and care for long term conditions, chronic pain and persistent symptoms.

Out of Hours a call to 111 will direct you to out of hours doctors and care.

GP Extended Access

GP evening and weekend appointments are available in Greenwich at two GP

access hubs, Monday to Friday 4pm to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 8am to

8pm. Book appointments through NHS 111 or your GP practice. Book a weekend appointment direct on 020 332 54260. Wound dressing service available at weekend. The GP access hubs are in Thamesmead and Eltham and accessible by public transport.

999 in an emergency

Please think before you dial 999. The ambulance service is for emergencies and life-threatening situations only. If ambulance crews are called out to those suffering minor illnesses, they cannot get to those who really need their help.

THE Emergency Department (A&E) is for serious, life-threatening injuries and illnesses that need urgent medical attention.

 These include:

  • loss of consciousness
  • serious blood loss
  • choking, severe chest pain or breathing difficulty
  • serious burns
  • strokes and persistent fits. 

People with these types of serious conditions will be treated before those with minor complaints, which would be more appropriately helped by calling 111.

Remember, unless it is an emergency, anyone with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea should not visit NHS buildings until 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared. Good hand hygiene at all times helps reduce the risk of spreading infection.

You can also find health advice online at www.nhs.uk  – an early enquiry can help prevent a crisis later. Choosing the right service helps to reduce the pressure on emergency services and ensure that they are available for those who really need them.

Self-referral to access to psychological therapies

Your GP can refer you into time to talk Greenwich services or you can self-refer. See www.oxleas.nhs.uk/gttt for more information or call 020 3260 1100,

email oxl-tr.greenwichtimetotalk@nhs.net to ask for support.