When you call 999, an operator will ask you which emergency
service you need. In a medical emergency, ask for the ambulance
What information will I need when I call
You will need to have the following information available when
you call 999:
- The address where you are, including the postcode.
- The phone number you are calling from.
- What has happened.
As soon as we know where you are, we can send help to you. You
will also be asked to give some extra information, including:
- The patient's age, sex and medical history;
- Whether the patient is conscious, breathing and if there is any
bleeding or chest pain; and
- Details of the injury and how it happened.
Answering these questions will not delay us, but it will help us
give you important first aid advice while our staff are on their
The extra information also helps us to make sure that we send
the most appropriate help to you.
What can I do before help arrives?
Before we arrive, you can help us by doing the following:
- If you are in the street, stay with the patient until help
- Call us back if the patient's condition changes.
- Call us again if your location changes.
- If you are calling from home or work, ask someone to open the
doors and signal where the ambulance staff are needed.
- Lock away any family pets.
- If you can, write down the patient's GP details and collect any
medication that they are taking.
- Tell us if the patient has any allergies.
- Stay calm, our staff are there to help. Violence or threatening
behaviour aimed at them will not be tolerated and could delay help
getting to the patient.
How can I be prepared for an emergency?
There are things you can do today to help us in the future.
- Check that your house number can be seen from the road.
- If you live on an estate, check there
is a clear sign to direct emergency services and that all lifts are
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical
help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
You should call 111 if:
For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in
the usual way.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies,
continue to call 999.