Do you really need A&E?

If you become ill, there are a number of places where you can get help without needing to come into hospital:

If your GP is closed, you can get help from a GP through the out of hours service. Call your usual practice number and you will either be given a number or diverted to the out of hours service.

You can check which other health services are able through this link:

You can call the NHS 111 service on 111 (this replaces NHS Direct).

The Harold Wood Polyclinic is open and able to treat minor injuries every day from 8am to 8pm and the Loxford Practice is also open on the bank holidays with a pharmacy and minor ailment service on site from 8am-8pm.

For serious and life-threatening health problems, Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital emergency departments are open as normal 24 hours a day.
Many people’s first thought is the local A&E department, but most illnesses and conditions can be treated more effectively elsewhere, nearer to where you live … and without you having to wait hours to be seen.

Please don’t go to a hospital A&E department unless you have a critical or life threatening problem. You may stop someone else getting the treatment they urgently need.

So where should you go and who should you call?

Treat yourself at home
A lot of illnesses can be treated at home with medicines you can buy at your local pharmacy and by getting plenty of rest. ‘Selfcare’ is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries.

call 111NHS 111
When you need medical help and advice, but it’s not a 999 emergency, you can now call 111. The new NHS 111 service is now available in Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.
Calls to 111 are free, including mobiles, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist.

Don’t forget your local Pharmacist. Pharmacists don’t just dispense prescriptions, they can also provide advice and over the counter medicines for a whole range of problems including the ‘morning after’ pill.

For Christmas opening hours, take a look at our interactive map. If it doesn't work for you, you can download a full list of pharmacy opening hours in north east London (PDF).

For the latest pharmacist’s opening hours go online to:

Your GP
GPs offer ‘extended hours’ – opening early in the morning or late into the evening, so try your own GP practice first.

Out of hours GP
If your GP is closed, the Out of Hours Doctor Service is staffed by doctors who will assess you over the telephone and may visit you at home if you are very unwell or ask you to come to a local centre. Just phone your GP and you will be given the correct number to call.

Walk-in centres and polyclinics
Our area has six large health centres that have extended opening hours and you do not need an appointment to be seen.

In Barking and Dagenham we have the Barking Community Hospital Walk-in Centre.

Barking Community Hospital Walk-in Centre, 132 Upney Lane, Barking, Essex, IG11 9YD Tel: 020 8924 6262.

In Havering we have Harold Wood Walk-in Centre and the Orchard Village Walk-inCentre at Rainham.

Harold Wood Polyclinic and Walk-in Centre, Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood, RM3 0FE Tel: 01708 574000.

Orchard Village Health Centre, 106 S End Rd, Rainham RM13 7XJ Tel: 01708 554797.

In Redbridge we have Loxford Polyclinic, 417 Ilford Lane, Town Centre,Ilford,IG1 2PF Tel: 020 8822 3800.

A&E or 999
For life threatening conditions such as choking, chest pain, blood loss or blacking out, do not hesitate to call 999. Tell the operator that there is a medical emergency; a response vehicle will be sent to your location.

Dental emergency
If you have a dental emergency you should call the emergency Out of Hours Service on 020 7377 7151. The service is open on Bank Holidays: 7.30am – 8.00pm.

Air ambulance