Published date
News type
Statements and responses

Although strikes are affecting the NHS and public services, you should still call 999 for a suspected stroke.  

Call 999 for a stroke

Not every hospital has a stroke unit. So ambulance paramedics are trained to take you to the right hospital for emergency stroke treatment.  

Emergency 999 call handlers will advise you about what to do and wait times. If there is a delay or symptoms get worse, call back and ask for advice. Remember to make a note of the time symptoms started, as this is important information for stroke treatments once you reach the hospital. 

Is it a stroke?

The FAST test helps you decide if you need to call 999. Find out more about the FAST test including the main symptoms of stroke and some other important ones to be aware of. 

What if I have an urgent medical problem? 

If it’s not an emergency and your life isn’t at risk, use the online NHS 111 service. If you can’t get online or you have a complicated problem, you can call 111. The phone lines may be very busy so it’s best to go online if you can. For any non-urgent health problems, contact your GP or pharmacist, which will be open as usual.

What if I have a hospital appointment?

Not all hospitals or ambulance services will be affected, and the strikes are taking place in different areas of the UK at different times. If you have an appointment, you should still attend, unless you are told otherwise. It’s really important to go to any follow-up appointments after a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke). Patient transport services may be affected in some areas, so it’s a good idea to plan your transport in advance if possible.