Out of hours Cover and Emergencies

The Practice provides a special high-level quality out of hours service. We do the On-Call ourselves, sharing with two other Knightsbridge practices. This makes it easier to access investigations, private hospital care, and admissions out of hours. Generally it is based on friendships developed over the years with specialists, which could make the difference to being seen by a top expert on a Sunday etc.

This service is open to you 365 days a year – last year it was our turn to cover Christmas. We regard this service to be of great importance, bearing in mind that by definition “out of hours” means nearly 70% of the time.

To contact the Out of Hours service, ring the practice number 020 7235 5850 and the Out of Hours number will be given, or ring our answering service directly on 020 8938 3577 who will then ask the doctor on duty to ring you back.

Specific Emergencies where NHS is the best and fastest choice

Dial 999 for Heart Attack or Stroke.

Heart attacks commonly present with central dull, continuous crushing or vice-like chest pain, sweating, grey pallor and shortness of breath. If this happens ring 999 first before you call the Practice.

The NHS now offers a first-class service with an ambulance taking you direct to a Cardiac Catheter laboratory where angiograms are immediately performed, and stent procedures (PCI) are carried out if necessary.(You can see an example of a coronary  angiogram if you go to Screening - Heart and Stoke prevention where there are two videos -one  pre ballooning a tight coronary narrowing and then a post ballon and stent insertion showing an excellent result.)  

The private system is often slower for this type of emergency. Any delay can risk lives.
When the ambulance is on the way, speak to our Doctor on call. He or she can meet you at your house if necessary together with the ambulance.           

The other area the NHS is best is the emergency treatment of strokes. 80 % of strokes are due to “infarction” where there is lack of blood flow to an area of the brain, and 20% are due to bleeds (haemorrhages).
In the case of a suspected stroke, the ambulance will take a patient direct to the nearest  Hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU)  which is part of certain chosen  hospitals, where a brain scan will be instantly performed. Brain preserving / lifesaving treatment can then be started usually with clot-dissolving agents or ocassionally direct removal of clots from blocked arteries, in some cases of “cerebral infarction”. The NHS now does these treatments remarkably well. You do not need to have an NHS GP to access these emergency services.

Local London HASU units include Charing Cross Hospital, University College Hospital, Kings College Hospital , St Georges Hospital Tooting and the London Hospital. These are  accessed by the Ambulance service - Dial 999 -  and say you have an emergency - a patient with a suspected stroke.