Healthcare Professionals Making the 999 Call


Every call from a healthcare professional will be processed by a call taker using a specially designed decision support tool. The purpose of the tool is to capture information regarding the patient’s details and diagnosis, in order to suggest the most clinically appropriate response, within the most appropriate time frame.


Wherever possible, we recommend that the clinician who assessed the patient makes the call. This enables the call taker to ask clinical questions to better ascertain the most appropriate type of response. The ambulance could arrive at any time from when the request is made, so it is important that the patient is ready to travel from the agreed pick-up location at the time of the request.


When calling for an ambulance, please ensure that you have the following information to hand: 

  • Is the patient awake/conscious?
  • Is the patient breathing?
  • Do you need clinical help right now to deliver an immediate life-saving intervention, or are you declaring an obstetric emergency?
  • Is there a need for an immediate intervention that cannot be carried out at the current facility as the patient is at immediate risk of death, or life-changing loss of a limb or sight?
  • Pick-up location/address for the patient.
  • Main presenting problem/diagnosis (reason for admission).
  • Patient observations and a NEWS2 score.
  • Does the patient require any clinical observations by the ambulance crew?
  • Destination (i.e. hospital and ward, and that the patient has been accepted)?


Patient details:

  • Name, date of birth and NHS number.
  • Contact telephone number.
  • Weight.
  • Mobility level.
  • Are they infectious?


HCP details:

  • Name of surgery/organisation and authorising HCP.
  • Contact telephone number.
  • How the HCP has assessed the patient (e.g. home visit, telephone call or in surgery).


Download the South Western Ambulance Service's guide here, or visit their website for more information.


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