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Is Accident and Emergency the right place for you this summer?

Summer has arrived and although most of us love the warmer weather, the change in temperature can bring along many health risks. Last summer alone, 1800 patients people a day attended A&E in south east London. Based on national surveys, we know that about 800 of them could have got quicker and more appropriate treatment elsewhere.

Southwark GP, Dr Jonty Heaversedge is reminding local people that A&E is for serious emergencies only. "Hospitals are very busy places all year round, A&E staff deal with life threatening emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks. People suffering from summer symptoms like dehydration and hayfever should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy.  

"Many people forget that their local pharmacists are trained clinicians who can provide expert advice on how to help manage illnesses, as well as providing guidance on the best treatments."

A&E isn't the only option if your GP surgery is closed. Other services like SELDOC - the GP out of hours services in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham - is also available should you need to see your GP out of hours.

You can also find the right services near you, using the find services function on the NHS choices website. Remember A&E is for serious life threatening emergencies only.

Being prepared can prevent you feeling unwell and help to keep you safe this summer:

  • Ensure you wear cool clothing
  • Drink cold drinks regularly such as water or squash
  • Try and stay out of the heat between 11am to 3pm
  • Make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet so you can self treat if needed