Choose the Right Service
Feeling unwell or injured? Choosing the right service will help you be seen early.
Coughs and colds / diarrhoea / headache / grazes / hangover / minor illnesses / upset stomach
Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. A range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. They include coughs and colds, diarrhoea, headache, grazes, hangover, minor illnesses and upset stomach.
Make sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with:
- Cough and cold remedies
- A thermometer
- Rehydration mixture
- Anti-diarrhoea medicine
- Indigestion remedy
You can find information on these and other common conditions by visiting the NHS website.
If you are a Lambeth or Southwark resident, you can get more information on the South East London CCG website
Diarrhoea / headache / sore throat / painful cough / minor illnesses / upset stomach / skin conditions
Pharmacists are medically trained and can give you expert advice on medicines and how they work. They can also help you to decide whether you’ll need to see a doctor. You don’t need an appointment and you won’t even be asked to make a purchase. Every pharmacy also has a private consultation area for you to talk about your symptoms in private if you prefer.
A number of local pharmacies in Lambeth and Southwark offer advice and medicines for a range of conditions, without appointment. Free emergency contraception is also available at some local pharmacies.
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 throats
- 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
- Athlete’s foot
- Nappy rash and teething
NHS 111 offers medical help and advice from fully trained advisers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics.
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 (family doctor) in the usual way.
Visit www.111.nhs.uk for assistance. If you need to call, you can. Calls to 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Across South East London, NHS 111 can issue prescriptions to a pharmacy of your choice and book a face to face appointment if you need one.
Back ache / ear pain / high temperature / vomiting
Your GP provides a range of services by appointment and will be able to assess your immediate needs as well as refer you to a specialist service, such as outpatients, if necessary. Your GP also knows your medical history so is best placed to manage you.
Many surgeries are open longer hours now, however, if your surgery is closed, call 111. A call to 111 will direct you to the out of hours doctors and care services.
Wounds / cuts / sprains / strains / suspected broken bones
If you have an urgent and severe but non-life-threatening illness or condition, then attend the urgent care centre.
Urgent Care Centre at Guy’s Hospital
Tabard Annexe, Great Maze Pond
London SE1 9RT
Tel: 020 3049 8970
Opening hours: 8am-8pm, 7 days a week (last patient at 7pm)For more information, visit the Guy’s & St. Thomas website.
Blacking out / bleeding you can’t stop / severe chest pain / choking / stroke / suspected broken bones
These are all emergencies which need urgent hospital care. Emergency departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation.
loss of consciousness
serious blood loss
choking, severe chest pain or breathing difficulty
strokes and persistent fits.