Out of Hours

Emergency Ambulance for life-threatening conditions: call 999

For severe trauma or bleeding, or if someone suffers a sudden onset condition such as breathing difficulty, loss of consciousness, specific headache, nausea/vomiting or other sudden and severe unexplained pain, don’t delay – call 999.


Non-Emergency medical advice: call 111


This is a free telephone number to call when you need medical help fast, but it is not a life-threatening emergency.  If you call this number you will be advised on which local service can best help you, such as A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, a walk-in clinic or Minor Injuries Unit, emergency dentist, community nurse or late-opening chemist.

If your 111 call results in you being passed to the Out of Hours doctor service, you will speak to a trained operator who will decide on the initial course of action. This can include such things as suggesting the nearest treatment centre, arranging a district or twilight nurse visit, or your call may be passed to a doctor to triage your call  (ie assess the appropriate response to your healthcare concern).  The triage doctor may then request a home visit from an Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP).   ECPs use cars with drivers, satellite navigation, data transfer and a range of medical equipment, and operate out of thirteen treatment centres in Dorset based in major hospitals, including Dorchester, as well as minor injury units such as Bridport, and Weymouth.


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Emergency Treatment Centres

The nearest Casualty (A & E) department is at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester – open 24 hours a day.  There are Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) in Weymouth and Bridport Community Hospitals which are open 365 days a year, from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00 to 16:00 at weekends and bank holidays.  They have limited X-ray facilities and can issue emergency prescriptions such as contraceptives, pain killers and antibiotics, and treat minor injuries and burns.  Check here to go to the NHS Choices webpage where you can type in your postcode or location and find details of the nearest Minor Injuries Unit.