Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured

Always  call 999  if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. A call operator will advise you on what will happen next. 

Examples of medical emergencies include (but are not limited to):

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe loss of blood
  • Severe burns or scalds
  • Choking 
  • Severe allergic reactions.

Get medical help near you or advice on coronavirus

To get help near you visit the NHS 111 Online page (opens in new window) > which can answer questions about your main symptom, help you find out when and where to get help, and be contacted by a nurse if needed.

Do you really need to go to an emergency department?

Emergency departments should only be used in an emergency or life-threatening situation. If you don't need emergency care, please consider one of the alternatives below.

Call NHS 111

If you have an urgent but non life-threatening medical concern, you can get advice from a fully trained adviser by calling NHS 111.

NHS 111 is available 24/7 and is free.

The adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and direct you to the right medical care, which can include:

  • sending an ambulance
  • connecting you to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP
  • booking a face-to-face appointment
  • providing self-care advice

Contact NHS 111

Telephone: 111

Website: Visit the NHS 111 Online page (opens in new window) >

Where to get urgent treatment for minor injuries and illnesses?

If you have a minor injury or illness, you will always be seen quicker at an urgent treatment centre or minor injuries unit > than at a busy A&E.

Skilled healthcare colleagues at urgent treatment centres and minor injury units can treat you for a range of minor injuries and illnesses including:

  • sprains
  • broken limbs
  • minor scalds
  • eye problems
  • infections or rashes

GP surgeries

When you are unwell but you do not need urgent medical attention, you should make arrangements to see your GP.

Not registered with a GP?

Find your nearest surgery to register (opens in new window) >

Alternatively, if you have an urgent medical matter, you can visit a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.


A pharmacist can give advice on a minor injuries or illnesses, such as infections, cold and flu, travel advice  and rashes. They can also prescribe certain medicines including emergency contraception, flu vaccines and emergency supplies of your regular prescriptions.

They often have a private consultation room if you need to talk to them in confidence.

Find your local pharmacy (opens in new window) >