In an emergency

Health Help Now

Health Help Now aims to help people find the right service in Kent and Medway for their health needs, especially when they need medical help fast but it is not a life-threatening emergency.
There are almost 500,000 visits to Accident and Emergency departments (A&E) in Kent and Medway every year.
Forty per cent of them do not result in any treatment.
That does not mean those people are all in the wrong place. It is important for some conditions to be checked in A&E even if no treatment is needed.
Health Help Now has been developed with input from local GPs, hospital doctors, and other health professionals. It lists common symptoms and offers suggestions for treatment.

For non-emergencies

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.

Should I call an ambulance?

Call 999 if you find yourself in 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
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.