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HealthInfo Canterbury

Emergency medical help

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Phone 111 and ask for an ambulance if someone has:

Calling 111 for an ambulance has information about calling 111 in a medical emergency and what happens when you call.

If you have a minor injury or illness or a long-term condition, see your general practice team. See After-hours medical care to find out what you should do if you need health advice or health care after hours.

Medical emergencies

A medical emergency is when there's a sudden onset of a medical condition. This list of medical conditions gives you first aid advice and tells you when to call 111.

Mental health emergencies


If you or someone you know is considering acting on suicidal thoughts and needs help, phone the Suicide Crisis Helpline 0508‑828‑865 (available 24/7), Lifeline 0800‑543‑354 or txt 4357 (available 24/7) or your local mental health crisis team:

If the person you're worried about needs to be forcibly stopped from doing something that could end their life, call the police immediately on 111 for support. Stay with them until the police arrive.

See Suicide help for more advice.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support urgently but you don't think anyone's safety is immediately threatened, call your local mental health crisis team. Their phone numbers are:

You can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are several helplines you can call if you need to talk to someone.


In case of medicine or chemical poisoning, contact the Poison Information Service immediately: 0800‑POISON (0800‑764‑766) or seek medical advice from another health professional.

Phone 111 for an ambulance if:

Don't try to make the person vomit or give them food or liquid until you have been given advice. See Chemical poisoning for more advice.

On the next page: Calling 111 for an ambulance

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2022.

Page reference: 274747

Review key: HIEMG-274747