Emergency assistance in Britain

How to find a doctor or other medical assistance

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Emergency assistance in the UK
Go to Emergency medical
help in London
Insurance and the EHIC card
The cost of medical assistance Finding a doctor or hospital

Emergency telephone numbers in Britain :

►►► Call 999 or 112 :
999 is the British national emergency telephone number.
112 is the pan-European number. You can call one or the other, it's the same.
You will be asked if you want Fire, Police or Ambulance.
You should call 999 in the event of a serious road accident, involving injury.
   Do not call these numbers unless you are in a real emergency (accident or serious medical condition)

For 24 hour medical services in Londonsee below
For serious depression or despair, call the Samaritans on  0845 790 90 90  Lines open 24/24

The cost of medical treatment in the UK

For visitors from the UE, with an EHIC card,

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The cost is the same as for British residents. Hospital and emergency treatment under the NHS (National Health Service)  is in most cases free of charge. Visiting the doctor in a NHS surgery is free. Specialist treatment under the NHS is free if it is the result of a condition that develops while the visitor is in the UK. Treatment for medical problems that were known before the visitor arrived is liable to be charged for, unless the patient has suffered from an unexpected turn for the worse. Emergency dental treatment is not free. Treatment in a private clinic or surgery is never free.
   There is a flat-rate charge for prescriptions (for medicines to be bought from a pharmacy)

For visitors from North America, Japan, and other non-EU countries.

Tourists who do not come from EU countries should take out private health insurance cover in order to benefit from NHS services and or private medical treatment, as they are liable to be charged for all treatment.
   Visitors working in the UK, and students enrolled on a long-term course receive medical treatment on the same terms as British residents.
More information on the NHS website.

Before you travel - health insurance & the EHIC card :

Health: Tourists from European Union countries (i.e. Germany, Spain, Poland etc.) are strongly advised to make sure that they have health insurance cover before travelling to the UK. They should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which has replaced the old E 111 form, in their country of origin. The EHIC remains valid since Brexit.

The EHIC, which is usually issued for up to five years, covers any medical treatment you may need during your visit to another EU country, as a result of accident or sickness. The card gives access to treatment by doctors, dentists, and in public hospitals, but not necessarily for work carried out in private clinics or surgeries. Generally speaking, visitors who show a valid EHIC card will not be charged for essential and non-planned medical treatment.

Foreign students on long-term courses and visitors working in the UK receive the same NHS cover as British nationals.

Finding a doctor / hospital / in the UK

Most "GP's" - general practitioners, or general medical doctors, work in partnerships, called surgeries or health centres; consultation is normally by appointment.

Non emergency medical attention

Visitors requiring non-emergency medical attention should either make an appointment with a local GP, or visit an NHS "Walk-in centre", for which an appointment is not needed.
   Alternatively, they can make for the A&E (Accident and emergency) service at the nearest hospital, where they will be seen by a qualified medic.
Home visits: only if the patient is too sick to move, a doctor will make a home visit. Ask your hotel  to call a local medic or the nearest A&E unit.
Sunday and night time calls: in most big towns there are pharmacies open until midnight. In some towns there are pharmacies open 24/24. Check by searching for "24 hour pharmacy in ..... " on the Internet. See below for late night pharmacies in central London.

Emergency medical addresses in London

Emergency pharmacies hospitals and surgeries in the central London area

Service Name Address Opening
24-hour pharmacy Zafash Chemists Earl's Court, 24 / 24
Late-night pharmacies
Open until midnight
Boots Midnight Pharmacy 44-46 Regent Street, 
Nearest underground: Piccadily Circus,
until midnight
Boots Midnight Pharmacy
Victoria Station, London,SW1
Bliss Chemist 
5-6 Marble Arch   London W1
Nearest underground: Marble Arch
Pharma centre 149 Edgware Road, Paddington,
Nearest underground: Edgware Road
Warman-Freed Pharmacy
45 Golders Green Rd, Golders Green NW11
Nearest underground: Golders Green
walk-in centres
Soho NHS walkin centre 1 Frith Street London W1
Nearest underground: Tottenham Court Rd
Until 8 p.m.
Hammersmith NHS Urgent Care Centre Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Rd, London W12
Nearest underground: East Acton
Until 10 pm
Private walk-in clinic Harley Walk-in clinic 17 Harley Street, London W1.
Note: not cheap. Private health insurance recommended
Until 8 pm weekdays
A&E units St. Bartholomew's Hospital West Smithfield, City of London EC1
Nearest underground: St. Pauls.
24 / 24
Guy's Hospital Great Maze Pond London SE1 9RT
Nearest underground: London Bridge
University College Hospital 235 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BU
Undergrounds: Warren St, Euston Square
St Mary's Hospital Praed Street, Paddington, London, W2
Undergrounds:Warren St, Euston Square
Eye hospitals Moorfields hospital 162 City Road, London EC1
Nearest underground: Shoreditch High St.
24 / 24
West London eye hospital 171 Marylebone Rd, Regent's Park, NW1
Nearest underground: Marylebone,

Find a Boots Midnight pharmacy nationwide search
Information correct at the time of writing.  This list is not exhaustive
Consult the NHS direct website for latest information and other walk-in centres in greater London

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