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GPs issue NHS care advice for the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend

Doctors in north east London are urging people to use local health services wisely over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend to ensure everyone can get the care they need.

It comes after more than 6,600 people went to A&E units across north east London over the last bank holiday weekend (30 April to 2 May).

Hospital emergency departments and ambulance services remain under immense pressure, and may not always be required. Many people can be treated safely and comfortably elsewhere, meaning those who need life-saving care can be seen quicker. 

Your best routes to urgent care include visiting your local pharmacy for advice, booking an out-of-hours appointment with your GP or contacting NHS 111.

To find out more about how to seek urgent care, visit www.northeastlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-area/your-health/emergency-care/ for help and advice, including a short video.

Dr Emma Young, an emergency medicine consultant in Newham Hospital’s emergency department, said: “We saw more than 6,600 people in the emergency departments across north east London over the last May bank holiday weekend, and our departments and ambulance services remain extremely busy.

“The people and teams in these departments work incredibly hard to provide good, compassionate care, especially over weekends and bank holidays as quickly and efficiently as possible. But in many cases, people may have to wait a long time to be seen in busy surroundings, when they may have been seen much quicker elsewhere. That’s why this Jubilee weekend, please think about visiting your local pharmacy or calling NHS 111 first, only visiting a hospital if it’s a medical emergency.”

Dr Jagan John, a local GP and chair of NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “For most people, this long bank holiday weekend will be a chance to relax, spend time with friends and family and celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, there will be some who find themselves needing urgent medical care or mental health support, and the NHS is here for you.

“You can book GP appointments over the weekend and our NHS mental health crisis lines are open all day, every day.

“We are here to help our residents stay well and have a wonderful long weekend.”

GP appointments are available every normal weekday evening from 6.30pm to 10pm (8pm in Hackney and City of London), and from 8am to 8pm on weekends and bank holidays.

  • If you live in the City of London, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest or Newham you can book these appointments by calling your own GP practice as usual during working hours or by calling 111 out of hours.
  • If you live Barking and Dagenham, Havering or Redbridge (BHR) you can book these appointments by calling the GP hubs booking hotline on 020 3770 1888 (open from 8am to 8pm) or by calling 111 any time.

In BHR, you can also get help with minor injuries and illnesses at our community Urgent Treatment Centres at Barking Community Hospital and Harold Wood Polyclinic. These are open 8am to 9pm, seven days a week. You can call NHS 111 to book an appointment or walk in and wait to be seen. You do not need to be registered with a GP.

If you find yourself needing mental health support over the Jubilee weekend, you can call the local NHS crisis lines. These are free, open 24/7, and available to adults, children and young people. You will speak to experienced staff who can help you.

If you are concerned about someone you know, please encourage them to call. While it’s preferable for them to call themselves, you can also call on their behalf.

The crisis line for each borough and the City of London can be found here and as follows:

  • Hackney – 0800 073 0006
  • City of London – 0800 073 0006
  • Newham – 0800 073 0066
  • Tower Hamlets – 0800 073 0003 
  • Waltham Forest – 0800 995 1000
  • Barking and Dagenham – 0800 995 1000
  • Havering – 0800 995 1000
  • Redbridge – 0800 995 1000

Covid-19 vaccinations will be taking place as normal over the bank holidays so if you have an appointment, please attend.

If you require medication, order enough to last you over the Jubilee weekend. However, some community pharmacies in north east London will also be open on the bank holidays. Full details of these, and their opening hours, are available on the NHS website here.

– ENDS –

  • 6,611 people attended hospital emergency departments (EDs) in north east London between 30 April and 2 May 2022. This included those at Homerton University Hospital; Barts Health NHS Trust: Newham Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital and Royal London Hospital; and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust: Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital.
  • If you feel unwell or have a minor injury, your local pharmacy can offer advice and some medicines. This can help you treat your own condition at home. Pharmacists can also help you see the right person, if you need to see someone else. If you have a more serious illness, you should visit your GP practice website or NHS 111 online for advice. If you cannot access the internet, call 111 or your GP practice directly. A 999 call should only be used for life-threatening emergencies or serious injuries. This information is available in a number of languages on our website.