Immigrants and migrants who are legally living and/or working in the UK will usually be covered by the NHS (National Health Service.) The NHS offers free health care treatment for a variety of common ailments, accidents and emergency situations. How should you deal with accidents and emergencies in the UK?
Who to Call in an Emergency
During an emergency situation when you require an ambulance to transport you to hospital for immediate treatment, you should contact the emergency services by calling 999. Operators answer 999 calls in English. However, if you need an interpreter, ask for one when you call. You can also dial 112, which is the emergency number used by much of the European Union. If you have more time to spare, you also have the option of choosing an emergency service from the NHS Direct Web site. Call the NHS Direct. Emergency calls should be made by, or in behalf, of those who are having breathing difficulties, acute chest pain, and loss of consciousness and other severe medical emergencies.
A&E (Accident and Emergency)
A&E departments are very busy, as they offer access to patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, not all hospitals have an A&E department. Patients who arrive at an A&E usually have to wait to be seen, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, when A&E departments receive the highest influx of patients. Doctors and nurses strive to see and diagnose the majority of the patients who come through their doors within four hours. Once you are seen, an A&E doctor or nurse will assess you to see what further action is required.
NHS Walk In Centres
NHS Walk In Centres can be found throughout the UK. They offer health advice, treatment of minor ailments, infections, cuts, and the treatment of broken bones without the need for an appointment. If your ailment is not a life threatening complaint, consider visiting a Walk In Centre. Walk In Centres are staffed by experienced doctors and nurses, who are on hand to help patients. However, not all Walk In Centres have a doctor.
In an emergency situation, always call 999 or 112 for an ambulance to transport you to hospital. You can also visit an A&E, where you will be seen and diagnosed by an A&E doctor or nurse. For non-life threatening health complaints, visit an NHS Walk In Centre.
Accidents & Emergencies