Emergency Care

If you think that the problem may be immediately life-threatening or a more serious injury, such as a broken bone, then the GP Surgery or Pharmacy is not the right place to get help.

Your GP Surgery and Community Services are there to deal with routine medical problems and more serious long term conditions that aren’t currently an emergency.

If you think the problem is an emergency then please consider these options:

Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Medical emergencies can include:

Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.

Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma. Major trauma is often the result of a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

Visit NHSChoices for more information about calling 999


An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:

Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units (MIUs). A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment.

If your GP practice is closed you can call 111 or go to NHS 111, which will direct you to the best local service. Alternatively, you can visit an urgent treatment or walk-in centre, which will also treat minor illnesses without an appointment.

Visit NHSChoices for more information about A&E


NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser. The NHS 111 service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one. They can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.

NHS 111 does not provide routine medical assessment or services. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If your GP Surgery is closed then NHS 111 can connect you with the local Out of Hours GP Service.

Visit NHSChoices for more information about NHS 111


Minor Injury units, Walk-in centres and Urgent treatment centres are a facility you can go to if you need urgent medical attention but it’s not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111, which can give you advice or direct you to the best local service to treat your injury.

Visit NHSChoices for more information about Urgent Care & Walk-in Services


Information reproduced from NHSChoices 24/10/18

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