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

consciousness, severe

chest pain, serious

bleeding, severe

pain, cannot talk in


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 dial 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 that essential treatment is  given as quickly as possible. Dialling 999 or using A&E when you  don’t need to could delay treatment for someone else.


e.g. shortness of

breath, persistently

raised temperature,

abdominal pain, minor


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

For urgent social care phone Social Services who do have an out of hours number 08708


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.


e.g. repeat


blood test, illness,


Your local GP surgery is the first place you should go for all health care. You can book an appointment to be seen within 2 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. 



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 means 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


NHS Wales offers

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

NHS Wales

When and why?
Contact NHS Wales if 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.


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


When and Why?
Self care is the best  choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. Choosing well means that you and your family get the rest and recovery you need.

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 09/09/2021