This winter, the NHS in North West London is reminding residents of the range of healthcare services available to help them.
With coronavirus restrictions continuing to impact our day to day lives, we are aware that this winter will be unlike any other. Although coronavirus has changed how some NHS services are delivered, we want our local residents to know that no matter what your concern may be, our NHS services are still available for your use. Our services are safe to use and we are here to help.
Here’s a list of things you can do locally, online and over the phone that will help you stay well this winter....
Call your GP
If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of any illnesses that you are worried about, your GP practice is still here for you. Our GPs are now offering telephone, online and video consultations so that you can easily access the right help and advice without having to travel. If medically required, face to face appointments are being provided. Whatever your concerns, please don’t wait until it gets worse, call your GP practice. Watch our video all about online consultations here.
If you are worried about an urgent medical concern contact NHS111 either online by visiting www.111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only) or dial 111 on your phone. Doctors, nurses, paramedics and fully trained advisors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can ask questions about your symptoms and find out when and where to get help. If medically necessary, NHS111 can make direct appointments with a variety of health services, including your GP, Urgent Treatment Centres, A&E, specialised mental health crisis services, dental services and pharmacists for urgent repeat prescriptions and advice. If needed, they can also arrange for an ambulance to be sent to you.
Speak to a pharmacist
If you have a minor health problem the fastest way to get advice is to visit your local pharmacist. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who can help with a wide range of issues – from stomach bugs, to coughs and colds and minor injuries like strains and sprains. You can also find out more about treating minor health conditions on nhs.uk.
Get your flu vaccination
With both coronavirus and flu circulating this winter getting a flu jab is especially important. The flu vaccine is available for free to those most at risk – if you are pregnant, aged 65 or over, if you have a long-term health condition or are a carer. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination, your GP practice will contact you directly by letter or text to arrange it. Book your vaccination at your GP practice or local pharmacy as soon as you are contacted.
If you are stressed, anxious or experiencing low mood you can access wellbeing and psychological support from a North West London Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service. You can refer yourself or speak to your GP or another healthcare professional for a referral. For more information visit www.westlondon.nhs.uk/service/iapt/ or www.talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/.
If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of/change in taste or smell) you must isolate and get tested. Please do not attend any health service. Stay at home and use the NHS111 online service for advice, or if you cannot get online, telephone NHS 111.Protect each other and keep yourself safe by following – Hands. Face. Space. Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water, for 20 seconds. Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and in supermarkets. Remember to ‘socially distance’ when in public areas – keep at least 2 metres away from people you don’t live with.
In an emergency
If you have a serious or life threatening medical emergency, call 999 or go to accident and emergency (A&E). A&E departments are for seriously ill people with life-threatening conditions and will be very busy this over the next few months. We encourage you to use alternative health services if it is not an emergency.
Diane Jones, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality forthe North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “I think we can all agree that this winter is going to be unlike any other. Despite the pandemic, if you or your family are not well and have a concern that is mental or physical, we are here to help and will provide care to anyone that needs it, in the safest way possible. Please don’t wait for it to get worse. We’re here to help you get the right NHS service, in the right place, at the right time.”
Notes to editors