Patients and visitors
Find out where to go for medical advice and treatment if you are feeling unwell or have had an accident.
Where to go for care
In an emergency: when to call 999 or go to A&E
Always call 999 immediately if you or somebody else has a life-threatening injury or illness. An ambulance crew will begin treating you as soon as they arrive and they will then take you to the most appropriate place for your condition, this could be A&E, a specialist centre or an urgent care centre (UCC).
All A&E departments use a priority system where the most seriously ill patients are seen first. In A&E you will be seen by specialist doctors and nurses who are trained to manage life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
When to go to an urgent treatment centre (UTC)
UTCs should be used when a condition is urgent enough that you cannot wait for a GP appointment (usually 48 hours) but you do not need emergency treatment at an A&E. UTCs are run by experienced GPs and nurses with skills in urgent care.
If you go to the UTC and your condition is life-threatening, you will be transferred immediately by emergency ambulance to the most appropriate A&E nearby, or to the most relevant specialist service, such as the heart attack centre at Hammersmith Hospital. If you go to the UTC and you don’t need urgent care, you may be referred to your local GP, or other services such as the pharmacy or dental service.
When to call 111
You should call the NHS 111 service if you need medical advice fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. You will be assessed, given advice and directed to the local service that can help you best.
Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
When to go to the GP
If you have a condition that has been present for two or three days, or is only a minor problem, then it may be more appropriate to make an appointment with your GP.
For further information on when to go to a pharmacy and when to treat your condition at home, click here.
Use the diagram below to decide whether you need to go to a GP, urgent treatment centre (UTC) or accident and emergency department:
Use the map below to find 24/7 urgent and emergency care services in north west London:
What to do if you have a long-term health problem
If you have a long-term health problem that suddenly gets worse use your patient passport and call 999.
Urgent gynaecology or early pregnancy problems
If you are bleeding, in pain or have a suspected infection please contact the emergency gynaecology service at St Mary’s Hospital or Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.
Women in labour
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you can get specialist medical and emotional support by making an appointment with The Havens. The Havens is run by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and one of their specialist centres is based at St Mary’s Hospital.
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