As well as responding to 999 calls from the public, we respond to requests from healthcare professionals (HCPs) when their patients urgently need taking into hospital, or transferring from one hospital to another (interfacility transfers).
How to request an ambulance
A healthcare professional resource pack is available below to support you when using the ambulance service. Please consider saving the link to these for quick access.
Quick guide to requesting an ambulance (foldable – pocket-sized)
Poster – requesting an ambulance
Flowchart – who should you contact to book?
NEWS2 – National Early Warning Score
This guide is designed to make it quicker and easier for HCPs to request an ambulance for patients who need urgent or emergency transportation to hospital or between hospital sites.
During the call, you will be asked clinical questions about the patient’s condition. In a life-threatening situation or an emergency request, the attending clinician must make the call to ensure accurate information is provided. Where delegation is unavoidable, the individual making the request for support must be able to answer basic triage questions about the patient’s condition (see booking checklist below).
Requests must be based on patient clinical need and not based on other issues such as capacity/flow challenges or availability for hospital staff escorts.
Emergency ambulance transport cannot be booked for repatriations or step-down transfers/discharges to non-hospital facilities and outpatient appointments. Please consider whether your patient could travel in locally arranged private transport or may be eligible for the Patient Transport Service.
- NEWS2 *
- Summary of patient’s condition
- Name of authorising HCP
- Contact details of authorising HCP
- Location the patient needs collecting from
- Destination (inc. ward/clinic)
- Patient’s full name
- Patient’s NHS number
- Patient’s mobility (walking /wheelchair/ stretcher / incubator – including type)
- Provide details of any patient infections
- Advise if there are any family or clinical escorts
- If the patient requires medication en route, is it ready to transport?
- Could the patient travel with others as part of a multi-occupancy transfer?
- Probability of clinical deterioration
- Special requirements/ instructions
- Anything else you think we need to know
*The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) should be used to help your decision making, but is not to replace clinical judgement. It can be viewed below.
Reproduced from: Royal College of Physicians. National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2: Standardising the assessment of acute-illness severity in the NHS. Updated report of a working party. London: RCP, 2017.
When you call the healthcare professional line, the questions we ask will collect the clinical information needed to determine the level of response required. There are four levels of response ranging from life-threatening emergency to non-urgent, which can be up to a four hour response time.
If you have questions about what level of transport may be suitable for your patient, please call the healthcare professional telephone line: 0345 140 0144.