Choose Well

Did you know that across south east London almost £6million is spent every year treating people in A&E with minor ailments?

A campaign has been launched by the NHS to help people choose the right place to get NHS treatment when they are ill. With the weather turning cold it’s even more important to choose well as it’s a time when all NHS services are under extra pressure.

We all pay for the NHS and all want to know if we’re ill, or any of our family is ill, we can get the care we need quickly. Unless you have a life threatening emergency, obviously need hospital admission or investigation, have broken bones or serious injury, the best care is not always hospital.

Your local pharmacist can provide lots of advice and treatment, including information about common conditions such as minor infections, aches, colds, allergies, rashes and skin conditions.

Your own GP has years of experience of dealing with all types of medical problems and has your medical records to hand and is often a better choice than a busy casualty department. An out of hours service is manned by local GPs when your surgery is closed.

If you use these services you will not only get the help you need quickly and efficiently, you will also be saving money for the NHS which can be used to provide other services for you or your friends that may be needed another day.

See below for information about services available.

A&E or 999

999 Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured.

Dial 999 and go immediately to your nearest A&E department. We provide A&E departments at Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

Urgent Care Centre (UCC)

If you have an urgent and severe but non life threatening illness or condition and you are unable to wait to see your own GP then attend the UCC. Always consider an alternative service appropriate for your needs – THINK FIRST, CHOOSE WELL.

We run Urgent Care Centres at Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

GP Walk-in Centre

If you are unable to get an appointment with your GP and have a minor injury or medical condition that is not life threatening but you need to be seen then visit the Walk-in Centre.

There is a GP Walk-in Centre at the Waldron Health Centre, Amersham Vale, New Cross, London SE14 6LD. Open everyday between 8am and 8pm. Call 020 3049 2370 for more information.

GP, out-of-hours GP

If you have an illness or injury that will just not go away, make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment and will be able to assess your immediate needs as well as refer you if necessary. They also know your medical history so are best placed to manage you – THINK FIRST, CHOOSE WELL.

If your surgery is closed, call the usual practice number and you will be given the number to call or be automatically diverted to the South East London Doctors on Call (SELDOC) service. This service is based at Dulwich but out-of-hours appointments can be provided closer to home.

Emergency Dentist

For out-of-hours dental emergencies call 111.


As well as dispensing prescriptions, your pharmacist can provide you with advice about a range of common conditions such as aches, colds, skin conditions, allergies and rashes.

A number of local pharmacies in Lewisham offer free medicines for a range of conditions, without appointment (subject to prescription charges, if applicable). Free emergency contraception is also available at some local pharmacies.

For information on all aspects of health and health care go to  This website allows you to check your symptoms, check hundreds of conditions and treatments and find telephone numbers and addresses for NHS organisations.


Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. A range of common winter illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply by combining a well stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest.

Make sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with: Paracetamol, a thermometer, antihistamines, aspirin (not for under 16yrs), rehydration mixture, anti-diarrhoea medicine, plasters and indigestion remedy.

How We Are Performing

Emergency department at Lewisham Hospital

Key Targets
How we are performing against key targets >>

External Assessments
What external organisations think of our services >>

Patient Feedback
How patients rate the care we provide >>

Why Choose Us?
Find out about why you should choose us for your care >>

If you have a compliment, query or complaint regarding your care, please contact PALS >>

Give Us Your Feedback

There are lots of ways you can give feeback about the care provided by the Trust.

Tell us what you think >>