Using an app to contact the 999 service in an emergency

Many people on the autism spectrum find talking on the phone difficult and prefer to communicate via email, text or social media. But what if you needed to call 999 in an emergency?

Relay UK is a service provided by BT that allows you to use an app or textphone to make phone calls via a confidential Relay Assistant operator. The service supports calls to the UK 999 emergency services (police, ambulance, fire & rescue and coastguard) and is available for anyone who finds making a voice call difficult, including members of the autistic community. To use the app for the first time, you’ll need to set it up and link your phone number – we recommend you do it now so it’s ready to use when you need it.

For more information on how the service works and to download the app for your device, visit the Relay UK website.

(This article has been updated – it originally linked to emergencySMS, which allows the emergency services to be contacted by text message. Relay UK still provide this facility, but advise that it should be used only if there is no other option, as it takes longer than a standard voice 999 call or the Relay 18000 service.)