Urgent and emergency care

For urgent medical help, contact 111 first to get help quickly and safely:

  • Call 111 for free from any phone
  • Visit 111.nhs.uk (for people aged five and over)

If you have an urgent, but not life-threatening, health problem you should contact 111 first, before going to A&E. Calling 111 puts you in touch with trained health advisors, including hospital doctors, nurses, GPs, paramedics and pharmacists who can advise you and make direct appointments with a range of services close to where you live, including:

  • A&E
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • mental health services
  • dental care
  • pharmacies (for urgent repeat prescriptions and advice)

Contacting 111 rather than going to A&E helps the NHS, with fewer people in waiting rooms to protect patients and staff from coronavirus (COVID-19).

In an emergency – call 999

If you have a serious health issue, such as breathing difficulties, chest pain, life-threatening injuries or a loss of consciousness, you should call 999 for immediate help or go straight to your nearest A&E.

Bear in mind that the emergency services are very busy and should only be used in very serious or life-threatening situations.