Urgent and emergency care


    Only use A&E for life-threatening situations

    A&E departments provide immediate care for people with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:

    • loss of consciousness
    • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
    • persistent, severe chest pain
    • breathing difficulties
    • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
    • severe allergic reactions
    • severe burns or scalds

    If it is a genuine emergency, where someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, call 999 and don’t panic.

    You can contact emergency services via SMS if you are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. Visit the emergencySMS website for more information or to register your phone.

    Not sure where to go for help?

    Start with NHS111. You can visit https://111.nhs.uk/ or call 111 any time of day or night, 24/7 days a year. They will direct you to where to get help for your symptoms, if you're not sure what to do.

    Make the right choice

    Help our emergency services be there for the people who really need them. If your injury or illness is not life-threatening, please use a more appropriate healthcare service.

    A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment. If your GP practice is closed, call NHS 111 for information and advice on what to do next.

    Find out what to expect from your local Accident & Emergency Deaprtment in our 'Max Investigates' video series: