NHS 111

What is 111?

If you need medical help fast but it’s not a life-threatening situation, you can now call the new NHS 111 number. When you call 111, a trained adviser will ask you questions to find out what’s wrong, give you medical advice and direct you to someone who can help you, like an out-of-hour doctor or a community nurse.
If the adviser thinks your condition is more serious, they will direct you to hospital or send an ambulance. If you don’t speak English, tell the adviser what language you want to speak and they will get you an interpreter.
You can call 111 any time of the day. The call is free, from landlines and mobiles.

When do I use it?

You should only call 999 in an emergency – for example, when someone’s life is at risk or someone is seriously injured or critically ill.
Call 111 if you need medical help fast, but it’s not life-threatening – for example, if you:
• think you need to go to hospital
• don’t know who to call for medical help
• don’t have a GP to call
• need medical advice or reassurance about what to do next
For health needs that are not urgent, you should call your GP.
If a health professional has given you a number to call for a particular condition, you should continue to use that number.

How does it work?

• 111 will get you through to a team of highly-trained advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you the health care advice you need or direct you to the right local service.
• The NHS 111 team will where possible 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, one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialled 999.

Why should I use it?

• NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help – 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.
• If 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.