Think: Is A&E where you really need to be?

It’s easy to think that your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department is the best and perhaps the only place to go for medical advice. However, did you know that you could get faster and more appropriate help from the wide range of other local health services available across Surrey, such as:    

  • Pharmacies
  • NHS Walk-in Centres – see Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) websites below or NHS Choices
  • NHS 111
  • Your local GP – see CCG websites below

“As a parent myself, I know that it’s natural to worry about your child’s health” explains Dr Charlotte Canniff, GP and Clinical Lead for Children and Young People at NHS North West Surrey CCG. “Children and young people often struggle to tell their parents exactly what’s wrong, and it’s easy to assume that a simple medical problem is something far more serious. If you’re concerned that your child is unwell, my advice would be to think first. Is A&E where you really need to be?”

Parents across Surrey have access to a wide range of NHS services that can offer urgent medical advice and support. The best way of finding the most appropriate local healthcare service for you is by calling NHS 111, a free telephone service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is staffed by a team of trained advisers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics who can assess your situation and put you in touch with the best service to meet your needs. This could be your local pharmacist, local out-of-hours GP service or NHS Walk-in Centre, all of which have fully trained healthcare professionals on hand to provide you with advice and support.

“Of course,” continues Dr Canniff, “If your child is losing consciousness, has a rash that doesn’t fade when you press a clear glass against it or is having difficulty breathing, you should call an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department immediately. If you’re unsure, NHS 111 will be able to help.”

NHS 111 manages appointments for the GP out-of-hours service in Surrey, which offers emergency GP appointments between 6.30pm and 8am Monday - Friday, and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays. 

Local Clinical Commissioning Group websites: 

North West Surrey CCG

East Surrey CCG

Guildford and Waverley CCG

Surrey Downs CCG

Surrey Heath CCG  

North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG 


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