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NHS 111, When it’s less urgent than 999

Visit the NHS Choices for more information click here

What is 111?

NHS 111 is a new telephone service being introduced to help make it easier for you to access local health services.

You can now call 111 when you need help fast, but it isn’t a 999 emergency. The 111 service is currently not available in border areas with phone numbers starting 0118, 01793, 01280 and 01844.

You can ring 111, 365 days a year, to reach a full range of local health services, including out of hours, doctors, community nurses, emergency dental care and late opening chemists.

Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free – just like 999.

Type Text Talk for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing People

The 111 service is also available via typetalk on number 18001 111.

How does it work?

111 will get you through to a team of highly-trained advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses. They will assess your symptoms and guide you to the right local service.

Wherever possible, the NHS 111 team will transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If they think you need an ambulance, they will send one immediately – just as if you had originally dialled 999.

When do I use it?

People should use the NHS 111 service if they need help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation. You should call 111 if:

  • it’s not a 999 emergency;
  • you don’t think it can wait for an appointment with your GP; or
  • you don’t know who to call for medical help.

For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP or dentist in the usual way, and for immediate, life-threatening, emergencies please continue to call 999.

Why should I use it?

NHS 111 is a fast and convenient way to get the right help – whatever your need, wherever you are, and whatever the time. It can also help us to free up 999 and local A&E departments so that they can focus on emergency cases.

What if I have already been given a number to call for a condition I have?

If you are already receiving healthcare and a health professional has given you a specific telephone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, please continue to use that number.

Download information in a different language

To download NHS 111 information in a different language please visit NHS Choices website.

Out-of-hours services are generally busy so please think carefully before asking to see a doctor and only do so if you genuinely cannot wait until the surgery re-opens.

In a genuine emergency you should call 999. Chest pains and / or shortness of breath constitute an emergency.  

When We Are Closed

If you need urgent medical care when the centre is closed, please call NHS 111. This is the three digit telephone number for urgent care services in the area.

You are advised to call NHS 111 when you’re in need of medical help but it is not a life-threatening emergency or urgent enough to call 999.

NHS 111 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days per year and is free to use from a landline and a mobile.

When to call 111

Call 111 if:

  • you think you need to go to A&E or to another NHS urgent care service
  • your GP surgery is closed and you need healthcare advice
  • you don’t know who to call for medical help.

When to call 999

Call 999 for life threatening emergencies such as:

  • major accident or trauma
  • severe breathlessness
  • severe bleeding
  • loss of consciousness
  • severe chest pain.

NHS 111 also provides a confidential interpreter service in many other languages if required. For deaf people and those hard of hearing, a text phone service is available on 18001 111.

For further information you can visit www.nhs.uk/111

When to visit A&E

Only call 999 or go to A&E in a genuine life-threatening emergency, such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped 
Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website