In an emergency

Your options in a health emergency.

It’s easy to think that accident and emergency is your only option when you have an urgent medical problem, but that isn’t always the case. Many minor injuries and ailments can be handled at minor injury units and these can be found in some of our hospitals.

If you need advice outside of normal working hours, there is support available through the out-of-hours service, as well as the phone advice line NHS 111.

In this section you will also find information about emergency dental treatment and how you can contact Social Services, if necessary.

Of course, if you really feel there is no alternative to visiting accident and emergency, you can find these across the area, but please remember to consider whether you really do need to go to A&E.

Minor injury units

Most of our minor injury units (MIUs) are open until 8pm, so please contact your local hospital/MIU if you need to access healthcare for a minor injury. You can find MIUs at:

  • Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital
  • Folkestone Minor Injury Unit, Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Gravesham Community Hospital
  • Sevenoaks Hospital
  • Sheppey Community Hospital
  • Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital
  • Victoria Hospital, Deal

If you have a smartphone, download the WaitLess app, which gives you live waiting times at all A&Es and minor injury units in east Kent.

The WaitLess app is free to download from iTunes and Google Play.


If you need to urgently access healthcare outside of normal clinic or surgery open times, you will find details of how to access these services here:

Night nursing service

The night nursing service provides support to the out of hours (OOH) GP services and extended services such as care homes, nursing and residential, to ensure urgent 24 hour nursing care is available across east Kent for housebound patients. The service is provided between the hours of 10pm to 8am and is split geographically across three areas being Ashford/Shepway, Canterbury, South Kent Coast and Dover/Deal/Thanet.

You can contact the relevant team on one of the following numbers:

  • Ashford 0300 123 0915
  • Canterbury 0300 123 1959
  • South Kent Coast 0300 123 1943
  • Thanet 0300 7900 386

NHS 111

For health advice and reassurance, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year, please call NHS 111.


The GP out-of-hours services in Kent provide urgent access to a doctor outside of your GP surgery’s normal open hours.

For the following areas: Ashford and Shepway, Canterbury and Swale, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, Dover, Deal and Thanet and West Kent (Maidstone, Malling and Weald), call NHS 111.

For Medway, please see MedOCC or call 01634 891855.

Accident and emergency

If you feel it is an emergency and that you have no choice but to contact the emergency services, please phone 999 or visit your nearest accident and emergency department.

In Kent, these can be found at:

  • Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford
    01322 428100
  • Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham
    01634 830000
  • William Harvey Hospital, Ashford
    01233 633331
  • Maidstone Hospital
    01622 729000
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, Margate
    01843 225544
  • Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury
    01892 823535

Out-of-hours dental problems

DentaLine is the NHS’s emergency dental service. DentaLine can treat patients who:

  • are bleeding heavily (haemorrhaging) from the mouth
  • have an injury to their teeth or mouth
  • have severe facial swelling
  • are in pain that started suddenly and cannot eased by pain killers.

NHS charges apply at all DentalLine centres.

For information about NHS dental services and costs, see NHS Choices. Normal opening hours are 6 to 11pm every day, plus weekends and bank holiday mornings, from 8.30am to 1.30pm.

Patients should call before attending and will be assessed during their call to determine how urgently treatment is needed. For emergency advice or help in finding your local Kent Dentaline service, please call 01634 890300.

Social services

You will find the phone number for the local Social Services office in your phone directory. If it is an emergency and you need to contact Social Services outside normal working hours, call 03000 419191 and ask to speak to the duty officer.