NHS 111 is the number to call if someone needs medical help fast, but they are not in a life-threatening situation. The service went live in July 2013, after undergoing a series of tests and assurance processes.
The easy to remember, free to call number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you access the care you need, wherever you are and no matter what time of day it is.
On dialling 111, callers are put through to a team of highly trained advisers and experienced nurses and paramedics. They receive a clinical assessment and are directed to the local service that can best help them at that time. This could be by providing details of the nearest pharmacy, directions to an appropriate service such as the GP out of hours service or even dispatching an ambulance if that is required.
There are only three numbers people need to know:
- 999 for life-threatening emergencies
- Their GP surgery for routine health conditions
- 111 for urgent/unplanned health conditions that aren't life-threatening, or for when they are unsure of which service to access.
How NHS 111 works
- Replaces NHS Direct (08454647)
- Also takes calls to GP Out of Hours services
- Free to dial, including from a mobile, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- Immediate clinical assessment by trained call handlers, supported by experienced clinicians
- Ability to refer callers to other providers without the caller being re-triaged
- Ability to transfer clinical assessment data to other providers
- Ability to dispatch an ambulance without delay
- Ability to provide health information or reassurance, including self-care
The provider of the NHS 111 service for residents in Berkshire is South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
The service is under continuous review by the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Berkshire to ensure it continues to provide a high quality, safe and effective service for patients.