NHS 111 was introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a lifethreatening situation. Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number. For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.
The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late opening chemist.
Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.
If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.
Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.