Thursday, September 28, 2023

The NHS belongs to us all. Let’s use it correctly

WITH more than one out of every 10 people admitting they have used A&E departments when they knew they didn’t need to, it’s no surprise that hospitals are reporting increasing numbers of people are using A&E every year when there are more suitable health services available to them.

People attending A&E when it’s not an emergency costs the NHS millions of pounds that could be spent on other services and care.

It also takes up A&E doctors and nurses’ valuable time, that could be better spent on those with the most serious or life threatening conditions.

GPs: If you have an illness or injury that just will not go away, make an appointment with your local GP. They provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. When absolutely essential, GPs can also provide home visits. Your GP surgery offers more than GP appointments. They have practice nurses that you can see too.

If you feel you need medical advice, an examination, or you have an illness or injury that requires a prescription, your GP surgery is best.

Walk-in Centres: If you’re unable to get an appointment and need to see a GP, you can also be treated at your nearest walk-in centre.

St Luke’s Health Centre and The Thurrock Health Centre are open 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm, including all bank holidays. They offer a range of services including health information and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries without having to make an appointment.

St Luke’s Health Centre
Pantile Avenue, Southend on Sea, SS2 4BD. Tel: 01702 611505

Thurrock Health Centre
55-57 High Street, Grays, Essex, RM17 6NJ. Tel: 01375 898700

Out of Hours GP services: When you phone your GP practice out of hours (from 6.30pm to 8.00am on weekdays and all day on weekends and bank holidays) a recorded message will provide you with contact information for the out of hours GP service.

Accident and Emergency (A&E) or 999: Accident and Emergency departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E departments provide immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or if badly injured. Dialling 999 and stating there is a medical emergency will result in a response vehicle being sent.


  1. The Dr from the Thurrock Health Centre recently sent my wife to Basildon A&E, only to be told after a six and a half hour wait “we don’t know what’s wrong with you, go home and take some pain-killers”.


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