When to call an ambulance
Before you call for an ambulance, you need to assess the
casualty. To do this, follow the steps of the Primary Survey, to see if they have any
life-threatening or other serious conditions.
If the area isn’t safe for you to assess the casualty, then call
an ambulance straight away.
If someone’s condition is life-threatening or very serious, then
call 999 or 112 for medical help.
If someone’s condition isn’t serious, then you need to decide if
they need treatment or not, and what options there are
– for example, to drive them to hospital, or to
call their doctor’s surgery for medical advice.
When to call 999 or 112
Call 999 or 112 if someone needs immediate medical help. For
example, if you think they: have had a heart attack, have a spinal injury or if they’re bleeding severely.
When you get through to the emergency services, you’ll need to
• your name
• a description of the condition of the
• your telephone number or the best number for them to
contact you on
• the exact location of the incident
• a description of the type of incident and how serious it
• details of any hazards, such as gas, damage to
power-lines or bad weather conditions.
When to take or send the casualty to hospital
Take or send someone to hospital if they need hospital
treatment, but their condition is unlikely to get worse. For
example, for a serious burn, a sprain where they can’t use their limb, or
an eye injury.
You can either take them in your own car or arrange for a taxi
to take them.
When to call or see a doctor
Suggest someone calls their doctor if their condition is not
urgent, but you think they need treatment or if you are worried
about their condition. For example, for a mild burn, a mild
sprain, or a fever.
They can call their own doctor’s surgery, an NHS walk-in centre
or the NHS Advice Line in England and Scotland on
111. In Wales you can call NHS Direct on
0845 46 47.