Accident and emergency (A&E) and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a life-threatening or critical situation. You should only call 999 for an ambulance in a real emergency. A&E can get very busy and you may have to wait a long time to be seen if you are not a real emergency.
A&E departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. A&E departments provide emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured. Dialling 999 and stating a medical emergency will result in a response vehicle being sent to your location.
When should I use A&E?
Emergency services are very busy and you should only attend A&E if you are very badly hurt or if you become very seriously ill. In an emergency go straight to an A&E department or dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Make sure A&E is available if you or your loved ones are seriously ill or injured by not choosing this service unless you really need it. Your GP can advise you on an alternative service or you can call the new free NHS 111 phone number.
Where is my nearest A&E?
Find your nearest A&E department.