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NHS 111

It’s not a 999 emergency. But you need medical help fast. There’s now 111

 What is 111? 

It’s a new NHS telephone number being introduced to help make it easier for you to access local health services. You can now call 111 when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.

You will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an Urgent Care Centre or Minor Injuries Unit, an out of hours GP, community nurse, emergency dentist or a late opening pharmacist.

You can ring the 111 number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free. 

Why should I use it?

  • NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help – wherever you are, and whatever the time.

  • It can also help us to free up 999 and local A&E departments so that they can focus on emergency cases. 

How does it work?

  • 111 will get you through to a team of highly-trained advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you the health care advice you need or direct you to the right local service. The NHS 111 team will, where possible, 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 we create are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.

When do I use it?


You should use the NHS 111 service if:

  • You need medical help fast, but it’s 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. If a health professional has given you a specific telephone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, please continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

More information

  • The 111 number is now available in your area, and will be available to callers across England by Summer 2013.

  • Calls to 111 are free, including mobiles, 24 hours a day.

  • To access the NHS 111 service via a text phone call 18001 111. We also have a confidential interpreter service, which is available in many languages. Simply say the language you wish to use when we answer your call.

  • You can find out more at

  • There is also an Easy Read version of this leaflet to download and leaflets in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Czech, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, and Urdu.

 It’s not a 999 emergency. But you need medical help fast.


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