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Use the right service

This winter we’re asking the residents of Bexley, Lewisham and Greenwich 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.

How to use your Health Services 

If you are feeling unwell it is important to use the right health service.

Click here to download a copy of the Bexley Services cut out and keep guide, or from the menu on the left hand side of this page.

 

Bexley services
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Self care

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.

 

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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 
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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. 
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NHS Online Bexley

Bexley is offering people a new way to contact their local health services via a convenient app – NHS Online Bexley. The app is easy to use and will help patients to get the care they need faster and more directly. The app also enables patients to communicate in a new way with their GP by requesting an online consultation. NHS Online Bexley enables patients to use their Patient Online account to manage appointments, order prescriptions and view their medical records.

Click here to find out more about NHS Online Bexley.  

 

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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 (8 – 8 service)

If you are unable to get an appointment at your GP that is convenient for you, you can ask for one at the GP 8 – 8 Service.  Appointments are available from 8am–8pm, 7 days a week, including bank holidays. All appointments must be booked in advance.  Ask for an appointment at your GP practice. Patients should contact their own GP for results of any tests undertaken at the hub. 

 

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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 include, but are 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 injuriesThe UCC at Erith Hospital, (Park Crescent, Erith, Kent DA8 3EE - car park is accessed from Hind Crescent opposite the junction with Ling Road) is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. The last admittance to patients will be 8pm so staff can see all patients safely and everyone can leave by 10pm in line with site requirements.  There is no reduction to the service on site, which will continue to run until 10pm. 
  • Please note, an x-ray service at the UCC at Erith Hospital is open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.
  • 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.
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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 diarrhoea 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. 

 

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