When it's less urgent than 999
The new service, NHS 111, is part of a national programme to make healthcare more accessible by introducing a single telephone number for every kind of non-emergency health care. The NHS 111 service was launched in Suffolk in February 2013.
What is 111?
NHS 111 is a round the clock service available every day all day. Patients can call the NHS 111 service for a number of non-emergency reasons, perhaps a medication or a medical concern about yourself or someone else; maybe you want to find your nearest GP, dentist or optician, or perhaps you have a health question that can’t wait until your GP surgery is open. Simply by calling 111 you will be directed to the most appropriate service that meets your needs.
•All calls to NHS 111 are free, even from mobile phones
•The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
•999 is still the number to ring in a life-threatening emergency
•When you dial 111, you speak to a team of highly trained call advisers, supported by experienced nurses. Call advisers use a clinical assessment system to assess your needs and determine the most appropriate course of action
•Information, advice and reassurance that will help with self-care
•Staff members are Suffolk-based and they have access to local health service information
NHS 111 does not replace the usual direct contact you have with your GP, dentist, pharmacy or other primary care service and for less urgent matters you should still contact your GP surgery direct, click here to find your local services. Patients who are under the care of community health services or mental health services should continue to use the number they have been given for their specific treatment.
The NHS 111 service takes over from the out of hours number and the NHS Direct telephone service.
The service does not replace the emergency 999 number which must still be used in life-threatening situations.