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NHS 111 - Emergency and urgent care services

NHS 111 - Emergency and urgent care services

This blog is simply a direct lift from the NHS site. I knew that the NHS 111 service was being rolled out - but had entirely missed that it had actually happened where I live! I am assuming some of you might also have missed it.

NHS 111 is a new service that's being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

To find out if the service is available where you live expand the 'NHS111 areas' section, below.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

When to use it

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency

you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service

you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call

you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

How does it work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.

NHS111 areas

NHS 111 is now available in the following areas:



Hammersmith and Fulham


Kensington and Chelsea







East of England

Great Yarmouth and Waveney




East Midlands



Nottingham City


North East

County Durham and Darlington


South Tyneside


North West

Lancashire (excluding West Lancashire)

South East


Isle of Wight


Other areas




There is more information at that link.


[Updated 15:57 13/03/2013 Added text below re Scotland]

Scotland gets 111

24 January 2013

Scotland's NHS 24 is changing its health advice line phone number to 111.

Its 0845 number will be replaced by 111 in April next year and will be free to call from a landline or mobile.

England is launching a similar service called NHS 111 from April this year, replacing NHS Direct’s 0845 telephone service.

3 Replies

I wonder where they found their "advisers" and how trained is "fully trained" - frightening.

Moggie x


I work for NHS direct


I guess this replaces NHS direct? As Moggie says I wonder what 'fully trained' means. My daughter called out of hours GP service when I had an episode of stridor after my throidectomy (had been to A&E previously but was told to call GP out of hours next time). The 'advisor' said 'I don't know what stridor is I'll just look it up. Oh it says its an emergency, call an ambulance. Well obviously I don't know whether I need to and neither do you'! My poor daughter said 'forget it, I'm calling an ambulance' - frightening indeed.


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