Use A and E responsibly this Easter
With Easter just around the corner, NHS Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group is urging local patients to think before visiting their A&E department over the four day weekend.
As many prepare to tackle the garden, dabble in DIY and celebrate with friends and family, residents are being reminded that A&E is only for emergencies, and that alternative health services are available locally over the Easter holidays.
Dr Nicola Jones, for NHS Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, said people should not use the ambulance service and A&E as an alternative to their GP if their GP surgery is closed over Easter.
"Easter is a busy time for local A&E departments and there are other health services in Wandsworth that can provide quicker and more appropriate treatment if you have a minor injury or ailment," she said.
"Using the right health service for your needs can prevent you waiting many hours in A&E, ensure you receive more appropriate treatment more quickly and free up local A&E staff to help those patients with the most serious conditions.
"If your GP surgery is closed, A&E isn't the only option. Calling the 24/7 free NHS number 111 or visiting the NHS Choices website can help you to find the right service.
"Patients should also plan ahead and make sure they have enough medicines to see them through the Easter holidays when their GP surgery is closed."
Alternative NHS services available to Wandsworth residents over Easter:
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 certain health issues and medication as well as treat coughs and colds, hay fever , an upset stomach and other common illnesses
· NHS 111 is a free phone service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It offers a one-stop number for assessment of patients with urgent, but not life-threatening symptoms. They will sign post you to the most appropriate service or advise on self care.
· Urgent Care Centre/Walk in Centre – with no appointment necessary your local urgent care centre/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.
Local centres are:
The Junction Health Centre
Grant Road, Clapham Junction
Open 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year
Balham Health Centre
120 Bedford Hill Balham, SW12 9HS
BH: 09.00 to 15.00
Booked and walk-in appointments
Wandle Extra OOH PCC
Brocklebank Health Centre
249 Garratt Lane, SW 18 4DU
BH: 9am – 5pm
Walk-in appointments during weekday. Combination of walk-in and booked appointments over weekend
Queen Marys Hospital: Queen Marys Polyclinic OOH PCC
Queen Mary's Hopsital, Roehampton Lane, SW15 5PN
BH: 8am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday extended access/walk inpatients, 24 slots allocated to Care UK.
St Georges NHS Trust:
St Georges UCC/OOH
BH: 10am – 00:00
Booked and walk-in appointments
|The Access and Coordination Hub||BH: 10:00 to 16:00|
· Queen Mary's Hospital Minor Injuries Unit, Roehampton Lane, Roehampton
8am to 10pm, every day except Christmas and Easter Sunday
· St George's Hospital Urgent Care Centre, Blackshaw Road, Tooting
Open weekdays 6.30pm to Midnight, weekends 10am to Midnight, 365 days a year
· 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 by calling 111, this service is staffed by local doctors and nurses who can offer advice or, if necessary, treatment at home or in a local health centre.
· The Access and Coordination Hub for Community Services - you can also seek help from Community Services who will conduct home visits if appropriate. If you are already under the care of Community Services such as a district nurse, you can call the Access and Coordination Hub for Community Services on 0208 812 5000 who will direct you to the services you need.
You can also download a guide to alternative local NHS services from here.