Health

As with the rest of the UK, Manchester's emergency services are only available through the national emergency numbers, 999 and 112. So long as you have details of where you are in the city (a street name and building number, or a shop name and street will suffice, as will the name of the attraction you're visiting), the emergency services aim to be on scene within 8 minutes. Non-emergencies can be assessed via the NHS Choice service on the telephone number 111.

Non-emergency care can be located via the NHS 111 service. In the city centre there is the City Health Centre on the second floor of Boots, 32 Market Street, Manchester M1 1PL (telephone 0161 839 6227) open 08.00-20.00 daily. At the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Oxford Road the Primary Emergency Centre is open Monday-Friday 08.30-22.30 and 10.00-22.00 at weekends (telephone 0161 276 5193).

Phone numbers for the major hospitals in the Manchester Area

Manchester Royal Infirmary: 0161-276-1234

Salford Royal (also known as Hope) Hospital, Salford: 0161-789-7373

Wythenshawe Hospital: 0161-998-7070 (incidents at the airport are usually dealt with at this location)

Stepping Hill & Infirmary, Stockport: 0161-483-1010

Tameside General, Ashton-under-Lyne: 0161-331-6000

Trafford General, Stretford: 0161-748-4022

North Manchester: 0161-795-4567

Altrincham General: 0161-928-6111

Royal Bolton, Farnwoth: 01204-390390


Safety

Manchester is generally safe for visitors and you should come to little harm meandering the city centre streets. Follow the usual precautions of not displaying ostentatious jewellery, keeping wallets, purses and cameras in line of sight (in a zipped front pocket is good, inner pockets are better) and you should have no issue.

Manchester has had some incidents of violent street crime during recent years, mostly late at night following visits to bars and clubs. As some of these attacks have been completely random and unprovoked there is perhaps no sure avoid the risk altogether. However, the risk can be significantly reduced by using some common sense: Avoid confrontations whenever possible, avoid queue jumping, don't go out on your own and stay together the whole night, don't drink too much, arrange a taxi pick-up in advance if possible, and so on.

As with all major urban areas, there are districts that should be avoided. Luckily, these are difficult to wander into accidentally and there is a visible distinction between the safe and rough zones. Properties begin to look worse for wear, less people wandering the streets, street lighting becomes poor are the typical 'red flags'.

Close to the city centre, the area stretching east from Piccadilly rail station to Great Ancoats Street/Mancunian Way (the inner ring road) is a run-down industrial estate and is best left unexplored.

If heading out to the City of Manchester stadium in Eastlands by foot from the city centre, it is highly advisable to walk along Fairfield Street, Ashton Old Road and Alan Turing Way, both there and back. Other routes are better avoided, as they track through the above-mentioned area, as well as an unpleasant residential area. It is recommended that you take advantage of public transport, if possible. Most buses from Piccadilly Gardens Stand D stop right outside the stadium.

Similar advice exists when heading out to the Old Trafford football and cricket stadia. The walking route passes through industrial areas, as well as close to a low-income residential estate. Public transport is your safest bet. Buses from Piccadilly Gardens Stands K & L operate services to Chester Road, which is a hop, skip and jump from either stadium and a tram service is also available from the city centre (direction Altrincham), the Old Trafford stop being right behind the cricket ground and 10 minutes walk from the football stadium.

In the unlikely event you are attacked or mugged, call 999 or 112 at the earliest opportunity and report the crime.