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What to do or where to go when you and your family become unexpectedly injured or unwell


Depending on the severity of your illness or injury, there are a number of places you and your family can go to access treatment or health advice. This guide will help you to receive the right treatment as quickly as possible, getting you back to health in the most convenient way, and leaving emergency services to those who need them most. 

This information is also now available in a handy mobile app, NHS Online Bexley, giving you the help you need wherever and whenever you need it. View this information to get started with NHS Bexley Online.  

 

Very minor or self-limiting illnesses

Very minor illnesses and injuries, for example, coughs and colds, grazes and hangovers can usually be treated at home quickly and more conveniently, simply by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet and ensuring you get plenty of rest.

Make sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with:

  • Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine for allergies
  • Bandages
  • Rub-on anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Laxatives
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Cream or spray to treat insect bites and stings, or cuts and grazes
  • Plasters and dressings
  • A thermometer

Useful references

  • Use this online directory to find out what medicines are available to buy from a pharmacy or from the supermarket
  • Visit NHS Choices for helpful advice on your healthcare condition
  • Download the self-care aware leaflet from the menu on the bottom, left-hand side of this page
  • Watch this video on how you can benefit from taking a more proactive approach to your own health and wellbeing


Not sure if it's serious?

If you are unsure how to treat your condition, ring 111. A trained call handler will direct you to the most appropriate source of help for your health condition.

NHS 111 may:

  • Give medical advice over the phone, for example, you may be asked to go to a pharmacy, or be advised to make an appointment with your GP 
  • Refer you to the NHS urgent medicine supply service. In this NHS service, pharmacies can provide you with an emergency supply of your usual prescribed medicines, for example, when the GP is closed. Patients who are exempt from NHS prescription charges will not have to pay for this service, as long as they are referred to the service by 111. 
  • Direct you to an out-of-hours doctor’s service. Depending on your condition, the doctor will either visit you at home, or you will be directed to the out-of- hours GP service (open to 8pm every day, including weekends and bank holidays). 
  • Ask you to attend the urgent care centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital or Erith Hospital, where a team of healthcare professionals will be able to treat you
  • Direct you to an accident and emergency department – but this will only happen if your illness or injury is life-threatening or very serious


How a pharmacy can help you

Your pharmacy is a good source of healthcare advice and treatments, whatever the time of day. Many also offer late-night opening.

Your pharmacist is a registered healthcare professional who can provide advice and treatment for common conditions such as back pain, diarrhoea, eye infections, sore throats, painful coughs, upset stomach and skin conditions. Pharmacists also dispense prescriptions, including emergency supplies of NHS prescriptions when the GP is closed.

If you need advice on how you can treat yourself, get more benefit from your prescribed medicines, or if you have a question about your medication, visit your local pharmacist.

Free emergency contraception is also available from some local pharmacies in Bexley. 

 

Useful resources


Your GP

Your GP is best placed to deal with more complex conditions that persist despite the treatment and advice you have received from a pharmacist, NHS 111, or if your symptoms are very worrying. 

Increasingly, GPs in England will no longer prescribe treatments that are easily available over the counter from a supermarket or pharmacy, or which are considered to be of limited clinical value and wasteful of NHS resources. For more information on these changes, read this information on self-care from NHS Bexley CCG and from NHS England.

Your GP provides a range of services by appointment and will be able to assess your immediate needs as well as refer you into a specialist service, such as outpatients, if necessary.

A GP service is available in Bexley from 8am until 8pm every day, including at weekends and on bank holidays. To book an appointment with the 8am to 8pm service, contact your usual GP or call 111.

Useful resources

 

Urgent Care Centres (UCCs)

If you have a minor injury or medical problem that is urgent but not life threatening, visit the UCC at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup or the UCC at Erith Hospital.

The types of illnesses and injuries both UCCs can treat includes, but is not limited to:

  • Broken bones, sprains and strains
  • Minor head injuries
  • Burns and scalds
  • Minor chest, neck and back injuries or pain
  • Foreign objects in wounds or other parts of the body
  • Infections including wounds
  • Eye injuries

The UCC is located in B-block, Queen Mary’s Hospital, (Frognal Avenue, Sidcup, Kent DA14 6LT) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the UCC at Erith Hospital, (Park Crescent, Erith, Kent DA8 3EE - car park is accessed from Hind Crescent opposite the junction with Ling Road) from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. Please note, x-ray services at the UCC at Erith Hospital is open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.


Accident and emergency departments

Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people with very serious or life-threatening illness.

For emergency healthcare help, dial 999 or go immediately to your nearest A&E department.

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Stadium Road, Woolwich, London SE18 4QH
  • Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, Kent DA2 8DA
  • Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough Common, Kent BR6 8ND

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