Need a doctor at the weekend or night-time?
Out of hours GPs are the perfect solution when you’re feeling ill - and you don’t feel your condition quite warrants an ambulance and you're concerned about a lengthy wait in an NHS A & E Department.
Years ago, it was common for NHS GPs to make house calls in the middle of the night to patients who were concerned about their health. It made perfect sense for a doctor to pop around to someone’s home to give reassurance and advice about a worrying symptom that struck in the small hours, or perhaps a child with a soaring temperature.
However, as the system is under pressure, especially in busy, metropolitan areas such as London, house calls are now a rarity from NHS GPs. The alternative is going straight to A & E, or phoning 111 and relying on advice from non-medically trained phone operators. Unsurprisingly, there has been tragic consequences to this strategy – for example, the failure of 111 operators to spot the symptoms of sepsis.
There are certain situations when you should, of course, dial for an ambulance immediately.
You should always dial 999 if:
- A person loses consciousness
- If a person suddenly becomes confused
- When there are breathing difficulties
- Sudden and persistent chest pain
- There is severe bleeding which you can’t stem
- Severe allergic reactions
- A fit that is not quickly recovered from
- Severe burns
In the case of children, you should be even more careful.
Call 999 if your child:
- Stops breathing or is struggling to breathe (you notice a sucking in under the ribs)
- You cannot wake your child
- Appears unconscious or unaware of what’s going on
- Has a fit for the first time
Take your child straight to A&E yourself if:
- Their temperature remains high and you’ve given them the correct dosage of paracetamol or ibuprofen. (ie. If your baby is under three months old and they have a temperature of 38C (101F) or higher. Or between three to six months old and has a temperature of 39C (102F) or higher)
- Their breathing is fast and/ or wheezy
- They have swallowed something potentially harmful
- They have injured themselves and the cut is wide or won’t stop bleeding
- There is severe abdominal pain
- Your instinct tells you this is an emergency situation
When to see an Emergency Out of Hours Gp
Of course, trickier are the circumstances when you instinctively feel that there is more to the problem and you want the reassuring opinion of a doctor. Perhaps you – or your loved one – may simply be too ill to get to the A & E department of your local hospital. Maybe you feel concerned about wasting hard-pressed NHS services.
Using a private, out of hours GP service could be the perfect solution. Our team of dedicated GPs work in the London area and can visit you at your home, office or hotel room. They can usually reach you within two hours and offer advice, treatment and reassurance.
Our GPs can also offer:
- Additional treatment
- Admission to a private hospital
- Referrals to the best consultants in the UK
- A follow up call free of charge for 24 hours following the GP’s visit
- Continuity of care at 25 Harley Street.
If you need an Emergency Out of Hours GP, please call 020 3883 9525. Wait and listen to the options offered. Press 1 and you will be diverted directly to an out of hours GP. Simply quote ‘25’ and you can access to the highest quality GP service in London.