Should I go to Accident & Emergency?
You should only go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) in an emergency or if you have been advised to attend by your pharmacist, NHS Direct or your GP.
An emergency is a critical or life threatening situation such as:
- heavy blood loss
- loss of consciousness
- suspected broken bones
- persistent chest pain for 15 minutes or more
- difficulty breathing
- overdose, ingestion or poisoning
Should I call an ambulance?
If someone has collapsed or is choking and you are unable to help, call 999 for an ambulance straightaway. If you experience chest pain for more than 10-15 minutes, which may be accompanied by feeling sick and sweating, let the ambulance service know that you may be having a heart attack, then take an aspirin (it must be an aspirin). Research shows that aspirin reduces complications following a heart attack.
Calling an ambulance does not give priority on arrival in A&E. Patients are treated on clinical need. Please ensure you bring sufficient funds or make arrangements to be taken home once you have been discharged. The hospital does not routinely provide transport or funds for this purpose.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
If you have a condition which has been present for two or three days, or which is a minor nuisance only, then it may be more appropriate to go to your GP.