The NHS 111 telephone service has now been successfully launched in Berkshire.
NHS 111 is the number to call if you need medical help fast, but are not in a life-threatening situation. The service went live in July, 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, receive a clinical assessment and are directed to the local service that can help them best at that time. This could be by providing details of the nearest pharmacy, direction to an appropriate service such as the GP out of hours service or even dispatching an ambulance if this is required.
The service will increase the efficiency of the NHS by directing people to the right service at the right time and by avoiding delays and inappropriate use of services such as 999 and Accident and Emergency departments, enabling them to be used by those who really need them.
There are only three numbers you need to know
- 999 for life-threatening emergencies
- GP surgery for routine health conditions
- 111 for urgent / unplanned health conditions or when you are unsure of which service to access.
How NHS 111 works
- 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
- Replaces the old NHS Direct phone number (0845-‐46-‐47)
The provider of the NHS 111 service for residents in Berkshire is South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. NHS 111 now takes the calls to GP out of hours services and NHS Direct and any numbers previously used to access these services will have messages advising callers to dial 111.