NHS 111

If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern and are thinking of going to A&E go to www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser before self-presenting at A&E.

NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser.

Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one.

The advisor will put you through to a trained medical professional who will assess your need. There may be lots of alternatives that are better for your needs and will mean you get seen and treated quicker and possibly nearer to home. If you need to go to A&E they will arrange an arrival time for you. All you then have to do is go to A&E at that time, register via an express lane and you will be seen as soon as possible, usually within 30 minutes of arrival – this can be longer if A&E is extremely busy.

NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.

The NHS 111 service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of fully trained advisers. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms and, depending on the situation, will then:

  • give you self-care advice
  • connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP
  • book you a face-to-face appointment
  • book you an arrival time at A&E if you need to be seen there.
  • send an ambulance directly, if necessary
  • direct you to the local service that can best help you with your concern

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.

NHS 111 offers a video relay service that allows you to make a video call to a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

The BSL interpreter will call an NHS 111 adviser on your behalf, and you will then be able to have a real-time conversation with the NHS 111 adviser via the interpreter.

You’ll need a webcam, a modern computer and a good broadband connection to use this service. Visit NHS 111 BSL interpreter service for more details and an online user guide.

Typetalk or textphone

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can use the NHS 111 service through a textphone by calling 18001 111.

Calls are connected to the TextDirect system and the textphone will display messages to tell you what’s happening.

A typetalk relay assistant will automatically join the call. They’ll talk back what you’ve typed to the NHS 111 adviser and, in return, type back the adviser’s conversation so you can read it on your textphone’s display or computer.

There’s also a confidential interpreter service, which is available in many languages. Simply mention the language you wish to use when the NHS 111 operator answers your call.

NHS 111 online

The NHS 111 online service can assess and direct people to the most appropriate local service, including urgent treatment centres, GP practices, and consultations with a pharmacist. And, if needed, it can arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor or paramedic.

NHS 111 online is an easy and convenient way to get urgent help for a wide range of health problems. You can get assessed and directed to the right local service in as little as 90 seconds from the comfort of your own home.

A recent survey showed that 84% of users of the 111 online service found it easy or very easy to use.

Using the NHS 111 online service could save you a trip to A&E. It is estimated that up to two-fifths of A&E attendances are avoidable or could be better treated elsewhere. People should still call 999 and go to A&E in an emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

The NHS 111 online service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Go to 111.nhs.uk to get assessed and directed to:

  • the right healthcare in your area; or
  • a call back from a nurse, doctor or paramedic; or
  • advice on self-care.

People should call 111 to speak to someone if they need to:

  • discuss complex medical problems;
  • discuss worries about a long-term condition; or
  • get medical advice for a child under five.

If you need medical help fast, use NHS 111 online to get assessed and directed to the right place for you.

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