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Do I call 999 or 111?

By Skaur 01 Sep 2018

It's important to know the difference between 999 and 111 - that means being able to recognise what is and isn't an emergency.

NHS 111


The is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. 

You should call 111 when:

  • You need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency.
  • You think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
  • You don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call.
  • You need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

When you call 111 you will speak to a highly trained advisor, supported by health care professionals who will ask you a series of questions to help assess your symptoms, and ensure you receive the care you need. 

111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

NHS 999

If you or someone you know is involved in a medical emergency which is serious or life-threatening, call 999 straight away.

Medical emergencies can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • An acute confused state
  • Fits that are not stopping
  • Persistent, severe chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe burns or scalds

To find out more information about when to call 999, click here.