Emergency Care

Emergency Care

Choose Well

To help you decide which service to use, if you are in any doubt contact NHS Wales

Please think carefully before going straight to the emergency department (A&E).

Choose well so that:

  • You get the right treatment at the right place
  • Busy emergency services can help those that need it most
  • Essential treatment is given in the shortest time

Be prepared by having essential medicines at home in a child safe cupboard 

Who to contact:


e.g. loss of conciousness, severe chest pain, serious bleeding, severe pain, cannot talk in sentences

Dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service for serious emergencies. If you are injured or seriously ill you should go or be taken to the Emergency Department (A&E). When you diall 999 you may not get an emergency ambulance response. The Welsh Ambulance Service has a range of staff and volunteers that will come and treat you depending  on the seriousness of the situation and how close they are to you

When and why?

Emergency services are very busy. They should only be used in very serious or life threatening situations. Choosing well means the essential treatment is given as quickly as possible. Dialling 999 or using A&E when you don't need to could delay treatmenr for someone else

Urgent care

e.g. shortness of breath, persistently raised temperature, abdominal pain, minor injuries

If you need urgent health care for your physical and mental health, phone your GP Surgery or the GP out of hours service. If you need treatment that cannot wait contact NHS Wales

When and why?

You should avoid going to the Emergency Department unless it is a serious emergency. If you do, you may have to wait a long time as priority is always given to emergencies. Choosing well means that you and your family will receive the best possible treatment when you need it.

Routine care

e.g. repeat prescriptions, blood test, illness, contraception

Your local GP Surgery is the first place you should go for all health care. YOu can book an appointment to be see within two days, further in advance or possibly the same day. Your GP will refer you to a hospital or other services if you need further care.

When and why?

Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that isn't an emergency

Choosing well means that you get the treatment you need at a convenient time and reduces the demand on emergency services

Community support

e.g. coughs, colds, stopping smoking, support group

Your local Pharmacist can give you expert advice and support on common illnesses and any medicine you may need without booking an appointment. A local voluntary organisation may be able to provide the help that you need such as a support group or extra care.

When and why?

Visit your local pharmacy for advice and treatment. You could contact a local voluntary organisation in your area. Choosing well meand that you get the treatment or help you need as quickly as possible.


e.g. what should I do? Where shall I go to get the right help for my problem?

NHS Wales offers confidential health advice and information about services that are available 24 hours a day.

When and why?

Contact NHS Wales of you are ill and have questions about your health, or the health of your family, They can help to find health services in your local area.

Self care

e.g. sore throat, cough, sprains, hangover

Keep a first aid kit and simple medicines at home in case you or your family needs them. You can ask for further advice from NHS Wales

In emergencies always dial 999

Useful links

Dewis Cymru is the place to go if you want information or advice about your well-being – or want to know how you can help somebody else.

ID: 2110, revised 05/07/2022