This guide is designed to help you access health and care services by providing details of all the access points to health and care – listing services in a logical way and providing you with the links to get the help you need.
Get started – get a GP
If you haven’t got a GP, that’s the place to start. A General Practitioner (GP) is the doctor you will see most often. They are usually the first contact you will make if you have a health problem.
GPs work in ‘GP Practices’ that will usually include a few doctors, as well as nurses and other health professionals. They can treat many conditions and give health advice.
You will be able to book an appointment to see a GP in-person or you can arrange an appointment over the phone or online. If you need prescription medication, your GP can arrange for it to be collected at a pharmacy that is convenient for you.
GPs can also refer you onto other NHS services, such as specialists in hospitals, if you need more advanced care.
You need to be registered with a GP to use their services, but the good news is it couldn’t be simpler.
Anyone in England can register with a GP free of charge, and importantly:
- You do not need ID
- You do not need proof of address
- You do not need proof of immigration status
- You also don’t need an NHS number – that will be assigned to you once you register
Online GP access
Just like online banking, you can access GP services and look at your GP records online. You can choose to:
- Book and cancel appointments - your practice will choose appointments that can be booked online
- Order repeat prescriptions
- Look at part of your GP records
- Online services are free to use and are just another way of contacting your practice – you can still ring or go in person
You can also request your full printed records from your practice, although they may charge for this.
Making an appointment with your GP is the best way to make first contact if you have a health problem.
However, if you need medical help urgently then you can phone 111. NHS 111 can offer advice if you need to:
- Discuss complex medical problems
- Discuss worries about a long-term condition
- Get end-of-life care, or report a death
- Report child protection or vulnerable adult concerns
If you need help in other languages, you can ask for an interpreter.
You can also access 111:
- Online at www.111.nhs.uk/Help/OtherWays
- By text relay by calling 18001 111
- Using British Sign Language (BSL) at www.signvideo.co.uk/nhs111
999 and A&E
You should call 999 for life-threatening emergencies when you need an ambulance. These include issues such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- Persistent, severe chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
Text relay users can call 18000 to get through to 999.
In an emergency you can also attend Accident and Emergency (A&E), but again only for life threatening emergencies such as those listed above.
There is one A&E department in the borough at Northwick Park Hospital offering access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Urgent treatment centres
An alternative to A&E departments are Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs), which treat minor injuries and illness requiring urgent treatment that cannot be seen by your GP. There are two UTCs in Brent:
Central Middlesex Hospital UTC is open 8am to midnight, seven days a week including bank holidays. Tel: 0333 999 2575.
Northwick Park Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week including bank holidays.
USE 999 AND A&E WISELY
Many patients who attend A&E can be seen by alternative NHS services such as GPs, pharmacists and dentists.
A&E should only be used for life threatening emergencies, so if you require urgent help, but not emergency advice, use NHS 111 instead.
Local pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can help with minor health concerns and illnesses, including coughs, colds, upset stomach, skin or eye infections, some vaccinations, and medications.
This is a quick and convenient way to get clinical advice on your high street, allowing you to receive face-to-face confidential help on the same day, without the need to book an appointment.
Your GP can talk to you about your mental health and help introduce you to the right mental health service for your needs.
You can refer yourself directly to some services, such as NHS Talking Therapies for people with feelings of low mood, anxiety, particular fears or problems coping with daily life and relationships. Phone 020 8206 3924 or go to: www.talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/brent
There are also a range of approaches to support 16-25 year olds that you can find details of at: https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/services/mental-health-services/adult-and-older-adult/young-adults-mental-health-wellbeing-space
In addition, you can access support anytime from a free, safe anonymous online mental health community – such as Brent Mind.
HELP IN A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
Freephone 0800 0234 650 if you need help in a mental health crisis. This line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is also information online for younger adults and children: www.cnwl.nhs.uk/patients-and-carers/help-mental-health-crisis
With offices in Cricklewood and Harlesden, Brent Mind delivers services to support young people and adults whose lives have been affected by mental health problems. In addition to a programme of support, mentoring and coaching, training, activities and social groups for children and young people.
Tel: 020 7604 5177
General health services
Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust provide a range of services aimed at children, young people and their guardian/parent.
Immunisations and vaccinations
Vaccinations protect ourselves and our children against ill health, preventing up to three million deaths worldwide every year and making diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus very rare if seen at all in the UK.
Find out more about when your child needs to be vaccinated, the school-based immunisation programmes in Brent and advice for recent migrants.
NHS dentists provide all the necessary treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in a healthy condition. To get NHS dental treatment, just contact a practice providing NHS dentistry and ask for an NHS appointment.
Optometrists and dispensing opticians are generally referred to as opticians, although optometrists carry out eye tests to check the quality of your sight and dispensing opticians fit glasses and contact lenses. Together they can look for signs of eye disease which may need treatment from a doctor or eye surgeon and prescribe glasses and contact lenses.
NHS North West London Sexual Health and Contraception Services provide sexual health services, HIV care, and a range of outreach services with their partner organisations to the people of Brent.
There are two clinics in Brent:
Patrick Clements Clinic at Central Middlesex Hospital
Acton Lane, Park Royal, NW10 7NS
Nearest station: Harlesden
Buses: 187, 224, 226, 260, 440, 487
Community HUB clinic Brent - Community support for people affected by HIV in Brent
Hillside Primary Care Centre, Harlesden NW10 8RY
Nearest station: Harlesden
Buses: 18, N18, 206, 224
Tel: 020 8453 2221
AJM Healthcare is the appointed NHS Wheelchair Service Provider for residents currently registered with a Brent GP.
Tel: 0808 164 2040
Brent Carers Centre
Brent Carers Centre provides support for carers, including advice and information on everything from legal support to carers’ rights in the workplace.
It also provides support for those who are lonely and socially isolated, and those needing skills training and help finding employment.
Tel: 020 3802 7070
Provides practical solutions for people trapped in the interconnected web of homelessness, alcohol and substance abuse, while facilitating ground-breaking support to those struggling with mental health, dementia and age-related issues.
Tel: 020 8208 8590/95
Adult social care
Adult Social Care services within Brent Council include information, advice and practical support to people with a disability, physical or mental illness to live independently and stay safe and well.
These services are usually provided in people’s homes, care homes or in the community and includes personal care, such as support with cooking meals, washing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning, as well as wider support to help people stay active and engaged in their communities.
This also includes support for people who are caring for an adult family member or friend. If you provide 35 hours of care a week, or more, you may be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance and in some circumstances, a Council Tax Discount. You will be offered a benefits check to make sure you are receiving all the financial support you are entitled to.
Advisors are available Monday - Friday, from 9am - 5pm.
Tel: 020 8937 4300
Emergency Duty Team
The Emergency Duty Team (EDT) provides a range of emergency social care services out of hours to members of the public and other agencies. The team provides a service response to Social Care emergencies involving clients from Children and Families, Adult Social Care and Mental Health, which occur out of hours, and which cannot be safely left until the next working day. This service is for situations that are in the nature of an emergency or have an element of urgent distress.
Tel: 020 8863 5250
Reporting abuse, exploitation and neglect
We all need to take the abuse, exploitation and neglect of adults seriously because everyone has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life without fear.
If you are worried about someone who may be abused or neglected please report this.
Tel: 020 8937 4300