Using your local health services over the winter in City and Hackney

Don’t just go to hospital - if you feel unwell over winter there are many ways to get advice or treatment.

Plan ahead – stock up on paracetamol, ibuprofen and indigestion remedies. Make sure you have enough prescribed medicines to last over weekends and holiday times.


Hangover, sore throat, coughs, colds and flu

  • The best place for you is at home in the warm - rest and drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
  • Plan ahead - stock up on plasters, paracetamol, ibuprofen and indigestion remedies.

Your local pharmacy

Diarrhoea, painful cough, headache, other minor ailments, emergency contraceptives 

  •  Your local pharmacist can give you expert, confidential advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses or injuries – many are open six days a week and you do not need an appointment.
  • Most pharmacies offer free emergency contraception to women. Contact in advance to check.
  • For the Bank Holiday, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year opening and closing times of pharmacies in City and Hackney, as well as neighbouring boroughs, click here.


    Your GP practice

Limb pain, ear pain, back ache, vomiting, depression, long-term conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma) or any other complaint that won't go away 

  • Make sure you are registered with a City and Hackney GP. Find your local surgery. 
  • Staffed with experienced doctors who have access to your medical records, your GP is the first place to go for illness that won’t go away.
  • For urgent appointments contact the practice first thing in the morning, for non-urgent appointments book between two and four weeks ahead.
  • You can ask for a same-day telephone consultation with a doctor.
  • Plan ahead – make sure you have enough prescribed medicines to last you over the weekends and holiday period. 

NHS 111

If you feel you need medical help or advice fast but are unsure what to do and don’t think it’s a 999 emergency:

  • Call if you don’t have a GP, can’t access a GP or don’t know who else to call.
  • The service is available 24 hours a day by calling 111.
  • You will speak to a trained adviser, supported by nurses and paramedics, who will talk you through your symptoms and advise on what to do next.
  • The service can also help you if you need an emergency supply of your repeat prescription filled urgently, when your local pharmacy is closed.

Homerton Hospital

Accident and Emergency - choking, severe chest pain, bleeding that won’t stop, loss of consciousness, struggling to breathe and strokes

  • Provides urgent treatment for serious, life-threatening conditions all day, every day.
  • Get there yourself if you can, but call 999 for an ambulance if someone is too ill to move, has collapsed or can’t breathe.

Emergency dental treatment

If you have an urgent dental problem and your usual dental practice is closed, call 111 and ask to speak to the Dental Advice Service.

Stay Well

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or over, and people with long-term conditions. Information and guidance for different groups is available on the NHS Stay Well website.

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