It's 112 not 111 in Wales: My son rang 11... - AF Association

AF Association

22,053 members26,820 posts

It's 112 not 111 in Wales


My son rang 111 recently when I was struck down with a coughing virus. An answering machine informed him that 111 was not available " in your area." We are in N E Wales. Our new phone book showed 112 as an alternative to 999.

In fairness 112 were excellent and dispatched an ambulance within 20 mins.

I have asked many people, including health professionals, if they knew about this change. Nobody did.

5 Replies

Thanks Jenny - I had no idea...

112 is an alternative to 999 due to it being internationally recognised. It works (as far as I know) all over the UK and in most places in Europe and in many other countries as a call for help to the emergency services. I understand that 911 is used in the USA, but would not be surprised if 112 also worked there. According to Wikipedia, it works from Azerbaijan to Vuanatu and in most places in between. 112 is the emergency number that all mobile phones should be using, as it reaches the emergency services regardless of borders or cell boundaries.

111 is a healthcare assistance service only, to seek advice on medical things as a cheaper and less draining alternative to trying to contact your GP. I didn't know it doesn't work in Wales, but even in England I have heard that the service is patchy and underfunded. When I tried to use it last year (NW England) I got a ringing tone for ages and then it cut off. I then called for an ambulance instead, using 999.

EDIT: I recommend reading up on 112 on Wikipedia (or elsewhere). Yes, on mobile phones in the USA it redirects to 911, for Fire, Police, Ambulance. However, in many places across the world, including Austria in the EU, it connects direct to Police ONLY! Other numbers are used for Fire and Ambulance. So, not as universal as I believed it to be.

As an amusing aside, my mobile phone once dialled 112 by accident while it was in my pocket (old style mobile back then, with actual buttons on the face). When I eventually discovered who was shouting at me from my pocket, it turned out to be a friend of mine who had moved her job to the emergency services control room, so we had a chat and she let me off. There can be penalties for miss-using the number. I was careful to use the keylock after that.

doodle68 in reply to momist

Quote Momist....

''112 is the emergency number that all mobile phones should be using, as it reaches the emergency services regardless of borders or cell boundaries.''

That's interesting Momist :-) I have an ancient mobile phone and the signal out here in the countryside is pretty poor some of the time . I was puzzled to find when the signal is very bad it says on my phone 'Emergency calls only' so I guess if used for that purpose it will seek out the nearest available signal.

Thank you , I will now add 112 to my list of numbers.

Hi, If you are in the Swansea, Neath, Bridgend and Carmarthen areas of Wales then it IS 111 to get through to NHS Direct in Wales if you want to talk to someone about symptoms, whether to go to GP or A&E, minor injuries unit etc etc.

It is not a replacement for 999 or 112 (which is the emergency number for all emergency services and which works better from mobiles than 999 does)

I understand that in the UK anyway, 112 from a mobile is also able to be tracked to approximate location whereas 999 is not .

You may also like...