Midlanders do not know what to do when confronted with an emergency or a chesty cough, according to new research published today.
More than seven out of ten people in the West Midlands would rather choose what health service to use, but often they call the wrong service or find their expectations cannot be met.
The study, carried out by educational charity Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP), highlighted a number of mistaken beliefs about what help is available from the NHS in an emergency.
Nearly 70 per cent of Midlanders think they will be seen more quickly at a hospital A&E if they arrive in an ambulance, regardless of their problem, and 80 per cent would dial 999 for an ambulance anyway.
One of the region's biggest mistaken beliefs is that GPs are required to visit them at home on request, with 77 per cent expecting them to be ' oncall' day and night.
Today the DPP launched its Where To Go When You're Unwell campaign to avoid confusion and misuse of NHS resources.