Do I call 999 or 111? Medical numbers explained

12 Sep 2019,
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

In the UK, there are two medical care telephone numbers. 999 is for emergencies and 111 is for non-emergencies. Find out when to call each number.

It is important you get the service you need and avoid calling out the emergency services unnecessarily. Both 111 and 999 are free to call.

It’s important you get the service you need and avoid calling the emergency services unnecessarily.

111

When you need medical advice or treatment but it is not an emergency.

You will speak to trained advisers who are supported by nurses and paramedics. They will ask your symptoms and offer their help.

You should call the 111 non-emergency medical care number if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not an emergency
  • you think you might need hospital treatment
  • you don't have a doctor or it's out of surgery hours
  • you need health advice and are not sure what to do next

Interpreters are available on this service. They can translate if you have difficulty speaking English or you can ask to use the service in a different language.

999

This is the number for the emergency services - the ambulance, police and fire services.

You should only call the 999 emergency number if:

  • there’s a medical emergency – someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk
  • there’s a fire
  • a crime is taking place, for example an assault or burglary

Other useful numbers

101

The UK's non-emergency police number is how you can report a crime or incident if you don’t need the police to arrive immediately.

Calls to 101 cost 15p per call, however long you're on the phone.

The Unite Students Emergency Control Centre (ECC)

The ECC is for Unite Students customers only and can be called 24/7 if the on-site team are unavailable. You can call the ECC:

  • From call points in your building
  • Via the MyUnite app
  • On 0300 303 1611

You should call the ECC if:

  • you have an urgent welfare concern about yourself or your flatmate
  • you need to report a maintenance emergency or security concern

Visit your reception if you want to know more about any of these services.

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It’s important you get the service you need and avoid calling the emergency services unnecessarily.
By Unite Students
Staff writer at The Common Room