MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCIES – 0845 46 47 or if immediate danger 999



What is an emergency?
When it comes to your health or the health of someone in your family, it is often very obvious if the person is seriously ill and needs immediate emergency care.

An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation.
To help you decide what a critical situation is, here are some examples:

  • a suspected stroke
  • heavy blood loss
  • suspected broken bones
  • a deep wound such as a stab wound
  • A suspected heart attack
  • difficulty in breathing
  • severe burns, and
  • a severe allergic reaction
  • unconsciousness

What to do in an emergency

Stay calm, shout for help. You may need to instruct someone to telephone 999. Make sure they know where the ambulance has to come to, and they have some details about the person who is injured or ill.

Don’t put yourself in danger. For example, if someone has been electrocuted, make sure you switch off the power supply before touching them. Do everything you can to help the person.

Don’t give the person anything to eat, drink or smoke. Don’t stick anything in their mouth.

Follow the instructions the ambulance service call handler may give you.

The way to help a person very often depends on what is wrong with them. Sometimes, the quickest way to help is to take the person to the nearest accident and emergency department. This will vary from area to area as it does depend on how close your local hospital is.  However, even in an area where your hospital is fairly close, you should call an ambulance and not move the patient if:

You think they may have hurt their back or neck, or have any other injury that may be made worse by moving them, the person is in shock and needs your constant attention, or the person has severe chest pain or difficulty breathing.

Dial 999 – If the patient is unconscious

The Recovery Position

If the patient is unconscious, there is a safe position to put them in which allows them to breathe easily and stops them choking on any vomit. However, you must first carefully consider whether there is any chance that the casualty has hurt their back or neck, or has an injury that would be made worse by moving them. Putting them in the recovery position in this case could have serious consequences. If you are in any doubt, and the casualty is in no further danger by being left in their original position, do not move them. Wait for the paramedics to arrive.

How to put someone in the recovery position

Once you have checked that they are breathing normally, lie them on one side, with a cushion at their back, bring their knee forward, and point their head downward to allow any vomit to escape without them swallowing it or breathing it in. Remember, when you are moving the patient onto their side, make sure their neck and back are well supported.

MINOR INJURY UNITS – Bransholme Urgent Care Centre 24/7

Patients often attend the hospital Accident & Emergency department when they could be treated just as professionally and usually more quickly at a Minor Injuries Unit. Minor Injuries Units are for patients with:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Bites and stings (including human/animal bites)
  • Infected wounds
  • Minor head injuries
  • Minor eye infections, foreign bodies and scratches
  • Cuts/grazes and lacerations

Minor Injuries Units are staffed by highly qualified nurse practitioners who often have more experience and expertise in this kind of treatment than many doctors.  They also have access to x-ray facilities.
You don’t need an appointment to visit and the waiting times are usually much shorter than those in the Emergency department as emergency staff must give priority to serious and life-threatening conditions.


Women can get a pill for emergency contraception from sexual health or family planning clinics, their GP or free from certain pharmacies (if under 25). A pill for emergency contraception can be given up to 72 hrs after unprotected sex to reduce your risk of pregnancy.  You can be fitted with an IUD which is far more effective. This can be done at the practice, family planning clinics some GU clinics or Conifer House in the City centre.

If you need urgent advice call the practice or outside normal hours dial 111