When should you call 999

You should always call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

Ambulance control room - Female sitting at desk in control room looking at computer screens

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

  • Cardiac arrest/ collapse/ unconsciousness
  • Chest pain / heart attack
  • Convulsions / fitting
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Traumatic / serious injury
  • Severe burns / scalds
  • Choking
  • Drowning
  • Severe allergic reactions.

If it's not a life-threatening emergency

If it is not a life-threatening emergency and you, or the person you are with, do not need immediate medical attention, please use other options available to you within the NHS.

Self care

Self care
Look after yourself or the patient at home. If you cannot stay at home, see if family or friends are able to help.


Talk to your local pharmacist


Your GP
Visit or call your GP

NHS 111 

NHS 111
If you need medical help fast, but it is not life threatening call, call 111

Walk-In Centres

Walk-in centres / minor injury units
Can you make your own way to your local A&E department, walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre? Arriving in an ambulance does not necessarily mean you will be treated more quickly at A&E.

Remember, 999 is a lifeline, please choose the right treatment for your needs
and allow us to make sure that we are able to help people who need us most.

More information is available from: