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Call 111 - When it is less urgent than 999

Out Of Hours

When we are closed overnight, at weekends and public holidays please call NHS 111 by dialling 111.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a free-to-call single non-emergency number medical helpline operating in England

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

Accident & Emergency

Please Avoid Unnecessary Use of A&E - Can our surgery help you?

Following recent changes to NHS funding arrangements, each attendance at A&E is now individually charged to the Clinical Commissioning Group and ultimately to the patients’ practice. Each attendance at A&E is charged at a standard tariff rate (between £65 and £150); for more complex cases the higher charge is levied and costs of Admission or outpatient follow-up are added to these costs.

When Should A&E be Used?

Examples of when it is right and appropriate to attend A&E without delay are:

  • Major injuries such as injuries from road traffic accidents
  • Falls from a considerable height
  • Major head injuries
  • Collapse
  • Severe breathing difficulty
  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe haemorrhage
  • Poisoning
  • Extensive burns

When it is Inappropriate to use A&E Services?

Unfortunately, many people attend A&E with very minor problems. This makes it difficult for A&E staff to deal with the volume of cases, involves delays for patients and incurs some considerable costs. The following are examples of minor problems for which A&E attendance is not appropriate. Generally, if the person is unwell, but alert and speaking without impaired consciousness or severe breathing difficulty, then they do not need to attend:

  • Flu-like illnesses, coughs, earache, back ache.
  • Sore throats
  • Minor breathlessness or wheezing
  • Abdominal pain (unless extreme or associated with collapse)
  • Urinary difficulties (unless completely unable to pass water)
  • Vaginal bleeding (unless very heavy and associated with faintness)
  • Rashes (unless it appears like spontaneous bleeding under the skin or the person appears very unwell)
  • Backache
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Simple bites and stings
  • Social problems
  • Emergency contraception
  • Dental problems (except major trauma)

Such conditions can generally be safely managed by your GP, Practice Nurse and in some cases the individual themselves.

Alternatives to Attending A&E

General Practice

We are open between 8.30am and 6.30pm and provide comprehensive services. Urgent same day appointments are available for urgent problems. We also have Practice Nurses who can see and advise patients. We urge patients to avoid unnecessary use of A&E and to contact the practice in the first instance.

Minor Injuries Unit

For broken arms or lower legs, sprains, cuts, minor burns, illnesses such as ear, nose and throat infections:

Sevenoaks Community Hospital, TN13 3PG 01732 470200
Open 8am-8pm 7 days a week. X-ray 8.45-5pm Mon-Fri

Edenbridge District and War Memorial, TN8 5DA 01732 863164
Open 8.30am-6.30pm 7 days a week. X-ray 9am-2.30pm Mon-Fri

Crowborough War Memorial Hospital TN6 1HB 01892 652284
Open 8am-8pm 7 days a week. X-ray Tues, Wed, Thurs 9am-4.30pm. Closed for lunch 12.30-1.00pm

You don’t need an appointment to attend a Minor Injuries Unit – walk in or telephone for advice when the unit is open.

Local Services, Let
Stuart Korth & Associates J Kempster & Son