Medical Emegencies

An emergency is defined as a sudden and acute need for medical help. Only in a case of genuine emergency should you attend the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of a local hospital. Please don’t go to A&E for minor ailments, or things that can wait until the next day when you can visit your GP. These things are not emergencies.

NHS24 Call 111

The same applies to calling an ambulance. If you really need to get to hospital quickly because you have a genuine medical emergency and you are incapacitated, call an ambulance on 999. Don’t call an ambulance for a minor injury or if your need is not so acute that you can ask a friend to give you a lift, or you can take a bus there.

In Lothian, only the Edinburgh Royal InfirmaryThe Sick Kids (for under 13s only) and St John’s Livingston have emergency services. The Western General has a Minor Injuries Unit (8am – 9pm only, 7 days a week).