With winter upon us and seasonal illnesses like flu and tummy bugs are circulating, pressure on the NHS increases. Help is at hand for people to understand the importance of accessing the right services first time.
If you’re generally fit and healthy, you may be unsure what to do or where to go with unexpected or urgent healthcare needs. In most instances people don’t need A&E or 999, and accessing more suitable healthcare could result in being seen quicker.
You should call NHS 111 if:
• you need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency;
• you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service;
• you don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call; or
• you require health information or reassurance about what to do next.
For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.
NHS111 makes it easy for you to access healthcare advice when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said:
“NHS111 is a free number, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The highly trained call handlers can provide health advice, put you in touch with the right service, arrange to have you seen by a doctor or call you an ambulance. The service is manned by trained call handlers with nurses on site to offer support if needed. Callers’ symptoms are assessed and they are given the healthcare advice they need or are directed immediately to the right service, first time.”
Those with internet access can also visit: www.nhs.uk/111.