Choosing the right service when you are ill

It is really important that you choose the right service when you feel ill. Many people go to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department when they could be treated more quickly and appropriately elsewhere.

When you are ill, please follow this advice

Take care of yourself at home
Minor illnesses such as coughs and colds can be treated at home.

Your Pharmacist can provide you with good advice and practical support as well as maintaining patient confidentiality at all times.  You can consult your pharmacist for the following problems:

  • Coughs & Colds Sore Throats Headaches
  • Bites and Stings Allergies Rash
  • Sprains Diarrhoea Mouth Ulcers
  • Teething Vaginal Thrush Fever

Lewisham residents are able to receive free consultations from their local pharmacists for a range of common illnesses, because of the Pharmacy First scheme. If you do not pay for your prescriptions, this service is free with a voucher available from reception. If you do pay for your prescriptions, the voucher entitles you to a free consultation and you will only pay for your medication.


our Named GP is your first port of call if you have any routine/urgent illness and on-going conditions. Using your named GP saves time as they know your medical history. If you are not sure who your named GP is, please ask any of the receptionists.  You do not need to see a GP if you are suffering from certain conditions.  The  Pharmacy First Scheme provides advice, treatment and medicines for common ailments from your local pharmacy. For further information please Click Here

Urgent Care Centre

The urgent care centre at Lewisham Hospital is available to treat injuries and illnesses which require immediate help when your need is urgent. It is located in the same place as the A&E department and on arrival you will be treated by the relevant department depending on your clinical need. You should always consider what other service you can use before attending the urgent care centre.


When you have a serious injury such as blacking out, chest pain, choking, shortness of breath or bleeding you cannot stop, you need to come to A&E. The service provides urgent treatment for serious, life threatening conditions. You should travel to A&E yourself if you can, but if someone is too ill– has collapsed or cannot breathe, dial 999 for an ambulance.

For more information and advice on treating different illnesses visit or