A lot of people come to the Emergency Department because they do not know where else to go could get quicker and more appropriate treatment much closer to home. Read our quick guide below before you decide where to go for your treatment.

Norovirus (sometimes known as winter vomiting disease) symptoms only last a couple of days but are very contagious and spread quickly. Norovirus is potentially dangerous to people with serious health conditions who are already in hospital. Please do not come into hospital if you are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting.

NHS 111

You can now call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency, wherever you are and whatever the time.

Calls to NHS 111 from landlines and mobile phones are free. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to your healthcare needs when:

  • you need medical help fast, but its not a 999 emergency
  • you don’t know who to call for medical help or don’t have a GP to call
  • you think they need to go to the Emergency Department or another NHS emergency service
  • you require health information or reassurance about what to do next

Calling 111 will get you through to a team of highly trained advisers who are supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the right local service. The NHS 111 team will, where possible, book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialed 999.


Your local pharmacist is qualified to give you free confidential expert advice on which is the best medicine and treatments for you, and can answer all of your questions about prescribed and over the counter drugs.

Your local pharmacist can also treat you for a wide range of conditions without the need for a prescription, and if you are receiving benefits or have a HC2 certificate, you could get this medication free.

The conditions your local pharmacist could help you with include:

  • coughs and colds
  • diarrhoea
  • hay fever
  • nausea and sickness
  • fever
  • head lice
  • constipation
  • thrush
  • conjunctivitis
  • skin conditions
  • warts and verrucas

You do not need an appointment to see your pharmacist, and many pharmacies have private consultation areas.

Find out more about your local pharmacies, including maps, telephone numbers and opening times

Do I need to see a doctor?

Your local GP surgery can treat you for a wide range of illnesses, like infections, mental health concerns, vaccinations or sprains.

You do not have to pay to see a GP and your local surgery should offer you an appointment within 48 hours, or the opportunity to book an appointment further ahead if you prefer. Most GP surgeries are open longer hours in the morning and evenings and offer weekend appointments.

Whether you are feeling unwell or on top of the world, you should register with a local GP surgery. This means that you’ll easily be able to visit your doctor whenever you are unwell.

To find a GP surgery near you click the link below.

Find out more about your local GP surgery, including maps, telephone numbers and opening times.

Contacting a doctor or emergency dentist when your surgery is closed

If you have an urgent medical or dental need when your GP or dentist is closed, contact the NHS 111 service by dialling 1-1-1, free of charge, 24 hours a day. Your symptoms will be assessed and you will be directed to the most appropriate urgent care service if needed.

If you live in Sutton or Merton, health or social care problem at night, at the weekend or on a bank holiday, you can call Caring Around the Clock, the out-of-hours health and social care service, on 0845 603 1087 between 18:30 and 08:00 Monday to Friday, and 24 hours at weekends or on bank holidays.

Walk-in Centres in and around Wandsworth

NHS Walk-in Centres are run by experienced emergency nurses. You should go to a walk-in centre for advice, assessment and treatment for things like fractured bones, cuts and bruises, chest infections and skin complaints. If you’re not sure whether your problem is best treated at a walk-in centre, call either your local centre or NHS 111 for advice.

Is it an emergency?

The Emergency Department at St George’s Hospital is the busiest Emergency Department in the country, providing specialist treatment for life threatening conditions like loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, heavy blood loss, serious accidents or very serious illnesses.

St George’s Hospital is one of four major trauma centres in London. This means that the London Ambulance Service brings people with the most serious injuries to St George’s from across south London and southeast England.

If you need medical treatment for any type of condition or complaint that is not serious or life threatening, you should try to use one of the services above instead of going to the Emergency Department. If you are still not sure which service to use, call 111 for advice.

If you have flu-like symptoms or are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, stay at home and call NHS 111.