NHS 111

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NHS 111 and coronavirus

If you think you might have coronavirus, you should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. Please use the dedicated NHS 111 online coronavirus service before calling 111.

What is NHS 111?

111 is the free NHS service which you should use if you need medical help or advice that isn’t an emergency. 111 is available 24 hours a day, all year round and staffed by a local team that will get you the help you need, right when you need it.

You can contact NHS 111 by using the free online service (111.nhs.uk) or by calling 111 from any telephone.

For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

When should you contact NHS 111?

You should contact NHS 111 only 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’re not sure how to access local health services;
  • you’re not sure whether you can treat a medical condition yourself;
  • you need urgent dental care but your dental surgery is closed; or
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

You should only call 999 if it is an immediate, life threatening emergency. Before you call 999 or go to A&E, please ask yourself whether your situation is a real emergency.

What happens when you call?

You’ll be put through to a trained adviser from the NHS 111 team who will ask you about your symptoms, so they can give you the help or service you need. Depending on what your needs are, they’ll put you through to a nurse or doctor who will:

  • give you clinical advice over the phone;
  • book an appointment at your GP surgery or, if it’s out of hours, with a local GP Hub in your area;
  • direct you to a walk in centre;
  • book an appointment with an emergency dentist; or
  • put you in touch with your community nursing service.

If the NHS 111 adviser thinks you need an ambulance, they’ll immediately arrange for one to be sent out to you.

What happens when you use the NHS 111 online service?

People visit 111.nhs.uk, enter their age, sex, postcode and main symptom and are then asked a series of questions about their health problem.

They can:

  • find out how to get the right healthcare in their area, including whether they need to see a GP or seek urgent care
  • get advice on self-care
  • in most areas, get a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained health professional if they need it
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