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.