Only call 999 if it’s a medical emergency – that’s when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
If you’re not sure where to go call 111 or go to 111.nhs.uk first for advice.
What to do in a medical emergency?
Accident and Emergency departments are for medical emergencies – they are not for minor health problems.
- If you suspect you or a family member is suffering from tightening chest pains or stoke symptoms dial 999 immediately, every second counts with these conditions.
- Medical emergencies include loss of consciousness, severe confusion, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions and serious burns or scalds.
- Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.
For ongoing cancer treatment, when advised to do so, please attend your regular appointments and screenings to ensure you receive the right care as soon as possible.
Accident and Emergency departments
Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments provide emergency care to those with life-threatening conditions or when long-term health is at risk. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the emergency department offers a full spectrum of specialist emergency services.
Patients can access the emergency department either by presenting themselves, being sent by their GP or via an ambulance. Patients who need urgent NHS care are asked to call NHS 111 before they decide to walk into the local A&E. This is to ensure they can access the clinical service they need, first time.
A&E is for patients requiring emergency care for serious and life-threatening conditions, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma such as road traffic accidents
People who attend A&E are seen and treated in order of clinical priority and not in the order they arrive; this means an attendance with a minor injury or ailment may result in a long wait as we treat those who need our specialist support.