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Get the right care from the right service at the right time

Choose well thermometer
Go ot A&E or call 999 in critical or life-threatening situations Go to your nearest walk-in centre for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries See your GP for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for illnesses you just can't shake off Go to your local pharmacy for advice on common seasonal illnesses, and the best medicines to treat them Contact NHS Direct for any health questions around the clock and to find local services Treat minor illnesses yourself

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is supporting the 'Choose Well' campaign - a new initiative to encourage people to get the right care from the right service at the right time.

The campaign, which is backed by posters displayed around the Trust's hospitals, uses a colour coded thermometer as its logo and aims to reduce the number of people visiting A&E by helping them to associate the severity of their symptoms with a particular NHS service:

Critical or life-threatening situations

A&E or 999

What to do?

Accident and Emergency departments are found at most hospitals. They help people who show signs of being very ill or are badly injured.

If you telephone 999 and tell the operator that there is a medical emergency, a response vehicle will be sent to your location.

When and why?

Emergency services are very busy. They should only be used in very serious or life-threatening situations.

Choosing well ensures that essential treatment is given, in the shortest possible time.

Examples

  • Choking

  • Chest pain

  • Blacking out

  • Blood loss.

More information

Treatment of minor illnesses or injuries

Walk-in centre

What to do?

NHS walk-in centres, NHS urgent care centres or NHS minor injuries units can treat minor illnesses and injuries and give you health advice. Most are open from early in the morning until late at night. You do not need an appointment, and you will be seen by an experienced nurse or a GP.

When and why?

If you need medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.

Choosing well ensures you receive the best possible treatment, leaving emergency services to those who need them most.

Examples

  • Cuts

  • Strains

  • Itches

  • Sprains

More information

Medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for illnesses you just can't shake off

GP

What to do?

GP surgeries can be found locally across London. You can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations, and prescriptions.

In an emergency, a GP can also visit your home outside of opening hours - if you need this service telephone your local surgery and follow the recorded instructions.

When and why?

Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away.

Choosing well ensures that you get the treatment you need, and reduces the demand on emergency services.

Examples

  • Vomiting

  • Ear pain

  • Sore belly

  • Back ache

More information

Advice on common seasonal illnesses, and the best medicines to treat them

Pharmacist

What to do?

Pharmacies can be found in local areas across London. Your local pharmacist can give you advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.

When and why?

Visit your local pharmacy when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.

Choosing well ensures you get the treatment you need in the shortest possible time, reducing the pressure on essential NHS services.

Examples

  • Diarrhoea

  • Runny nose

  • Painful cough

  • Headache

More information

Any health questions around the clock and to find local services

NHS Direct

What to do?

NHS Direct offers confidential health advice and information by telephone, on the internet and through digital TV, 24 hours a day.

When and why?

Contact NHS Direct if you are ill and have any questions about health. The service can also help you to find health services in your local area.

Choosing well ensures you get expert advice in the shortest possible time, meaning busy NHS services can help those who need them most.

Examples

  • Unwell?

  • Unsure?

  • Confused?

  • Need help?

More information

  • Visit the NHS Direct website

  • Call 0845 4647
    (Calls to NHS Direct cost a maximum of 5 pence per minute from a BT landline. Calls from mobiles and other networks may vary. Your service provider may charge a minimum cost per call. For patients' safety, calls to NHS Direct are recorded.)

  • Tune you TV into FreeView channel 100 or page two on Sky Digital's interactive service

Treatment of minor illnesses

Self-care

What to do?

A lot of illnesses can be treated in your home by using over the counter medicine and getting plenty of rest.

When and why?

Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries.

Choosing well ensures you receive the rest and recovery you need, meaning busy NHS services can help those who need them most.

Examples

  • Hangover

  • Grazed knee

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

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