NHS 111

111 Logo WhiteIntroduction to NHS 111

Since being announced as providers in early 2015, NWAS along with its partner FCMS are providing the NHS 111 service to the North West community for the next 5 years. Working with these partners will give the Service extra stability and resilience and will complement the NWAS team.

Currently, the North West Ambulance Service, and its partners, is the largest provider of the NHS 111 Service in the UK. Over the course of October and November 2015 the Service undertook a phased go live of service expansion. This expansion saw the inclusion of the GP Out Of Hours (OOH) calls for every area across the North West Region. Making NWAS and its partners, the largest provider in England both in terms of number of calls handled and population served.

What is NHS 111?

There are a number of reports which state that many of the people using emergency departments (ED) or 999 could have used alternative services in the community or self-treat, however people are confused about which service to use.

NHS 111 is a Department of Health idea of a single point of access for urgent care which seeks to improve and simplify access to non-emergency health care by providing a memorable three-digit telephone number that is free to the caller.

By calling NHS 111 callers get immediate access to clinical advice on their condition or illness.

The caller is triaged over the phone and then sign posted to the appropriate services.

If the reason for the call turns out to be an emergency, the call will be immediately passed to ambulance dispatch, which will then be managed just as if you had dialed 999.

NWAS NHS 111 is staffed by a team of fully-trained call handlers supported by experienced senior clinical advisors, who will assess the symptoms and then signpost the caller directly to the most appropriate place of care.

Whether an out of hours doctor, a district nurse, a 24 hour chemist or an emergency dentist is needed, the NHS 111 team will make sure service users get the right help, first time.

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free - just like 999.

NHS 111 is free to call and is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever your need, wherever you are, and whatever the time.

When to use NHS 111

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice, but it's not a life-threatening situation.

 Call 111 if:

  • You need medical help urgently 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.

For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in the usual way.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, you should call 999.