Accident and Emergency

Accident and Emergency


South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) provides accident and emergency services throughout the South West region. The areas we cover include Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.


When to call 999

It is sometimes difficult to know whether or not you need an ambulance. We would urge you to dial 999 if the patient:

  • Is unconscious or not breathing;
  • Has a penetrating injury to the neck, chest, abdomen or thigh;
  • Has had a severe allergic reaction;
  • Has uncontrolled bleeding;
  • Is having an asthma attack and is unresponsive to medication;
  • Has severe chest pain (heart attack);
  • Is fitting (if this is unusual for the patient);
  • Has taken an overdose;
  • Has been submerged in water for more than one minute;
  • Has fallen more than 10 feet;
  • Traumatic back/spinal/neck pain.

If you have an emergency at home it is important that we can easily find your house. Therefore, always check that your house number or name is clearly visible from the roadside.


Stop and think before you dial 999

Sometimes calling 999 is not the best way to receive medical help and choosing the most suitable way of getting the care you need can save you time and help us to respond more quickly to patients who are most in need of our help.

  • Arriving by ambulance does not automatically reduce your time in the Accident and Emergency Department
  • When an ambulance is called inappropriately, someone in a life threatening situation may suffer