Injured or unwell? Choose well and use the right health service for your needs

The NHS and St George’s is currently experiencing a high demand across all healthcare services, meaning GP surgeries, hospitals, accident and emergency, community health services, mental health services, social care and our ambulance service are all very busy.

We need you to play your part and use services wisely.

By choosing the right healthcare service for your needs, people with minor illnesses will be able to be seen more quickly by using more local services such as Minor Injury Units or pharmacies.

To find out which service is most relevant for your needs please read the information on this page and choose the right service for your health needs. Choosing the right service will ensure you receive the best possible treatment, allowing busy services like hospital Emergency Departments (A&E) to concentrate on helping those most in need.

The NHS is here for everyone and we aim to ensure health services are available for you when you become ill, but to do this, we need everyone’s support – choosing well ensures you get the right care for your needs.

Self care

Self care is about looking after your own health and making the right choices about where to go for help and advice when you need it. Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home – talk to your pharmacist about remedies.

Keep a well-stocked medical cabinet. This could include: pain killers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedies, cold and flu remedies, first aid kit with bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and cream, eyewash, medical tape, sterile dressing and thermometer. Find more advice about what to keep in your medicine cabinet on The NHS website

Summer brings with it a number of minor health problems that you can also deal with at home or with help from your pharmacist, from tick removal, to insect bites and stings and sunburn.

The NHS website

If you’re feeling unwell or have a minor injury you can get expert help online on the NHS website. This is the UK’s biggest health website offering a wealth of health information and services to put you in control of your healthcare

Try the NHS Health A-Z or Symptom Checker

NHS Apps

NHS Digital have developed a range of apps to provide you with straightforward information on a range of health issues.

NHS 111

You can contact NHS 111 online at or phone 111 if you don’t know who to call for medical help, if you don’t have a GP to call, or if your surgery is closed, or if you need medical advice or reassurance about what to do next.

In a serious or life threatening situation call 999.

Calls to NHS 111 are free, although mobile users will require a minimum of 1p credit.  If you would benefit from the assistance of a BSL/English interpreter, you can use the free NHS 111 BSL service.  Click here for more information.

Your pharmacy

You can visit your local pharmacy where fully trained health professionals will provide on-the-spot confidential advice. You don’t need an appointment and they can advise on the best medicines for many common illnesses. Find out more about how your pharmacy can help.

To find your nearest pharmacy visit

For bank holiday opening hours, visit the NHS England website.