NHS Making the Right Choices

swasft - Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time


Every year in the UK, thousands of people die or are seriously injured in accidents.

Many of these deaths could be prevented if first aid is given before emergency services arrive. 

Here's a quick to do list if someone is injured in an accident: 

First check that you and the casualty are not in any danger. 

If you are, make the situation safe. When it's safe to do so, dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance, if necessary. 

We would urge you to dial 999 if the patient: 

  • Is unconscious or not breathing 
  • Has a penetrating injury to the neck, chest, abdomen or thigh 
  • Has had a severe allergic reaction 
  • Has uncontrolled bleeding Is having an asthma attack and is unresponsive to medication 
  • Has severe chest pain (heart attack) 
  • Is fitting (if this is unusual for the patient) 
  • Has taken an overdose 
  • Has been submerged in water for more than one minute 
  • Has fallen more than 10 feet 
  • Traumatic back/spinal/neck pain 
  • If you have an emergency at home it is important that we can easily find your house. 
  • Therefore, always check that your house number or name is clearly visible from the roadside. 

Stop and think before you dial 999 Sometimes calling 999 is not the best way to receive medical help and choosing the most suitable way of getting the care you need can save you time and help us to respond more quickly to patients who are most in need of our help. 

Arriving by ambulance does not automatically reduce your time in the Accident and Emergency Department When an ambulance is called inappropriately, someone in a life threatening situation may suffer.