NHS 111 – FAQs

NHS 111 – Frequently asked questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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; or
  • you require health information or reassurance about what to do next.




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