What is NHS 111?
NHS 111 is a new telephone service being introduced to make it easier for you to access local health services, when you have an urgent need.
If you need to contact the NHS for urgent care there are only three numbers to know; 999 for life-threatening emergencies; your GP surgery; or 111.
When you call 111 you will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best - that could be an out-of-hours doctor, walk-in centre or urgent care centre, community nurse, emergency dentist or late opening chemist.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free.
How does it work?
Calling 111 will get you through to a team of fully trained call advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the right local service. Where possible, they will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If they think you need an ambulance, one will be sent just as quickly if you had dialled 999.
When do you use it?
You should call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency
- you don't know who to call for medical help or you don't have a GP to call
- you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
- you require health information or reassurance about what to do next