5. Ambulance service
You should always call 999 when it is an emergency.
Emergency 999 calls to the ambulance service are prioritised into two categories to ensure life-threatening cases receive the quickest response:
Immediately life threatening – an emergency response will reach 75% of these calls within eight minutes. Where onward transport is required, 95% of life-threatening calls will receive an ambulance vehicle capable of transporting the patient safely within 19 minutes of the request for transport being made
All other calls – for conditions that are not life threatening, response targets are set locally
A 999 call should only be made in a genuine emergency.
To ensure seriously ill and injured patients are treated as quickly as possible, people whose call is not serious should consider other healthcare options rather than calling 999. These include:
- self-care at home
- talking to your local pharmacist
- visiting or calling your GP
- calling NHS 111
- going to a local NHS walk-in centre
- attending a minor injuries unit
- making your own way to your local A&E department (arriving in an ambulance does not mean you will be seen any quicker)
NHS 111 service
NHS 111 makes it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Visit the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust website for more information.