Waltham Forest residents reminded to dial 111 during festive season

This festive season, local doctors are reminding people in Waltham Forest that they can dial 111 to find out where to go if they are hurt or unwell. 

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can help people get the right medical care as quickly as possible. 

Dr Anwar Khan, Chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP, said: 

“During the festive period it is estimated that up to 40% of people who visit A&E do not need to be there, which means there can be long delays if you don’t need emergency treatment. To make sure everyone is able to get the care they need, it’s important to remember that A&E should only be used if you have a very serious or life threatening health problem. 

“If you need urgent treatment but it is not life threatening, another local service may actually be able to treat you faster and closer to home. Call the NHS 111 number to get advice on where you should go.” 

Many services will remain open over the holiday period for people who need health advice and care: 

  • Weekend GP and nurse appointments: Local people who are registered with a GP can book a weekend GP or nurse appointment by calling 020 8519 3999 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 5pm on Saturday or Sunday at three GP practices in Chingford, Walthamstow and Leytonstone. The GP walk-in service at the Oliver Road polyclinic is available 8-8, seven days a week if you need to see a GP urgently.
  • Pharmacies: Alternatively, many common illnesses like coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. There is no need to book appointments and most pharmacies have a consultation room. To find out which pharmacies near you are open over the holidays, or for more information on where you should go for treatment, please call the NHS 111 number.
  • Mental health services: People who need mental health support should contact the Mental Health Direct telephone helpline on 0300 555 1000. It is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and the helpline team will arrange for a mental health professional to speak to you.

 For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk