Know where to go for NHS help in Waltham Forest this August bank holiday

GPs in Waltham Forest are urging people to use local healthcare services wisely over the August bank holiday weekend – and to remember that medical help is always close at hand.

Although it is a busy time for local GP practices and hospitals, people in north east London have access to free clinical support and assessment at any time of day or night under the new NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service. The new service, which began on 1 August 2018, sees GPs, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists giving urgent advice over the phone through the free NHS 111 helpline, which is available 24 hours a day.

To ensure that everyone can receive the care and treatment they need, it is important to remember there are a number of ways to get advice and support from the NHS locally.

This includes visiting your local pharmacy for help treating coughs, sunburn, hayfever and other minor ailments. It is also advisable to keep your medicine cabinet well stocked with supplies such as paracetamol, indigestion medication and plasters to help you deal with any minor health issues that might arise.

If you have a long-term health condition, you should ensure you prepare for the upcoming bank holiday by requesting well in advance any repeat prescriptions you might need.

Dr Anwar Khan, a local GP and Chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Nobody wants to worry about their healthcare over the August bank holiday weekend, so a few simple preparations beforehand can help ensure you are able to relax and enjoy the break.

“Just spend a few moments thinking about your NHS healthcare options so that you know exactly where to go for help and advice if you do become ill or injured. Choosing the right service not only means you receive the treatment you require, but also helps reduce pressure on urgent care teams – allowing them to focus on those who need them.\Another simple measure is to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet and making sure you order any repeat prescriptions well in advance, so that there’s no gap in your treatment.”

Over the bank holiday weekend, people in Waltham Forest have a number of NHS healthcare options:

  • NHS 111 Clinical Assessment Service – If you need medical help or advice fast and your GP practice is closed, call NHS 111. Clinicians, such as GPs and nurses, are available to provide high-quality assessments, advice and treatment over the phone at any time. They will also be able to book an appointment for people with the most appropriate NHS service if they need one, and can prescribe medicines over the phone if required. It means you will get the right care, in the right place, first time.
  • Visit a pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be most easily treated by visiting a local pharmacy, where you can seek help without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. For a full list of local pharmacies open over the bank holiday weekend, visit
  • Book an appointment with a GP – If you need to see a GP, appointments are available on bank holiday Monday (27 August) from 8am to 8pm, but must be booked in advance by calling 020 8519 3999 between 12pm and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am and 4pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • Whipps Cross urgent care centre – Whipps Cross urgent care centre can treat most minor injuries that are urgent, but not life threatening, including cuts and rashes, minor burns, bruises, bites and stings. The centre is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
  • Mental health support – If you need help over the weekend with an ongoing issue such as anxiety, feeling low, phobias, anger, extreme shyness or relationship issues, contact the Waltham Forest Talking Therapies IAPT service on 0300 300 1554 or visit its website:
  • Call 999 – If there is a medical emergency or if someone you know has a life-threatening illness or injury, call 999 or visit A&E. Please remember that A&E should only be used for genuine life-threatening emergencies.

For more information contact Max Bennett:
020 3688 1216

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