What to do in an emergency

Throughout a terminal illness

If you or the person you care for has been diagnosed with a life-limiting (terminal) illness, you will be given details of who to contact should an emergency situation occur by the health professionals caring for you.


At end of life

As you approach the end of life, you may receive palliative care in your own home, in a care home, in hospital or in a hospice. Should an emergency situation occur, your healthcare team will be available for support:

Hospital or hospice

The healthcare team will look after your care and respond to any situation that occurs.

Care home

The care home team will call upon the support of local health care professionals to help with any emergency that may occur.

Your own home

If you have made the decision to spend your last days at home, the health professionals who are looking after your care will give you contact details of who to call should an emergency occur. This could be your local GP, the Community Healthcare Team or the team at your local hospice:

Your GP will provide you with details of who to contact both within and out of hours.

Community Services, provided by NHS East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, provide care for children and adults closer to home.

These services are provided by nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, specialist clinicians and technicians:

St Elizabeth Hospice have an advice phone line (OneCall) to support everyone in their catchment area. It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week for patients, families, carers and healthcare professionals.

St Nicholas Hospice Care offers a 24-hour advice line for all patients and family members as well as healthcare professionals including general practitioners, district nurses and carers.

  • Tel: 01284 766133

St Helena Hospice has a 24/7 phone line, SinglePoint, which is available to patients, families, carers and healthcare professionals across north east Essex. SinglePoint provides advice and support over the phone and, if required, expert nurses or other professionals may visit at home to respond:


NHS 111

If you need urgent medical help or advice you can call NHS 111 anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By calling 111 you will speak to a trained advisor. You will be asked a series of questions to assess your symptoms and be given the help you need.

You can also access NHS 111 online:

NHS 111 option 2 is a helpline for people of all ages who need urgent mental health support. The helpline is available all day, every day. If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health, dial 111 and select the mental health option (option 2).


999 and emergency department services

Please call 999 or go to your hospital’s emergency department (A&E) in a life-threatening emergency only.