The 111 online service offers patients quick advice and the best options for getting the care they need, including getting a call back from a trained clinician or nurse, booking them an appointment in A&E, or providing advice on how to help them recover.
Head of 111 Service Jackie Bell says, “We expect it to be an extremely busy time for our 111 health advisors. Last year we triaged an average of 59% more calls on a bank holiday than we did the rest of the year, and this weekend is likely to be busier.
We’re prepared as always, ensuring we have the maximum number of resources available; however, callers still may experience lengthy call wait times. This is why we would recommend the NHS 111 online. You answer the same questions and receive the same advice, but it’s likely quicker.
One other thing I would recommend is to check you have enough of your prescribed medication to get you through the holiday. We regularly get phone calls about this. If you do need an emergency supply, this again ordered through 111 online or by contacting your usual pharmacy.”
NHS England and NHS Improvement North West regional medical director, Dr David Levy, said: “We are deeply grateful to the dedicated staff of the NHS in the North West who will be working hard over the coming bank holiday weekend to ensure all those that need care receive it – using NHS 111 online first will ensure everyone who needs medical advice can access it quickly and conveniently, alongside other services, while allowing staff in our A&Es to continue to care for the most seriously ill and injured patients.
“If you need care in the coming days please do come forward using NHS 111 online first, and allowing that service to put you in touch with a healthcare professional where necessary and help you to get the treatment you need.
“Vaccination continues to be the best form of protection against coronavirus and across the North West our ‘evergreen’ offer for COVID-19 vaccinations means anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is able to come forward at any time to start their vaccinations.”
111.nhs.uk can tell you:
- where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
- how to find general health information and advice
- where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
- how to get a repeat prescription
- emergency dental appointments
You should still ring 999 if you experience:
- signs of a heart attack like pain like a heavy weight in the centre of your chest
- signs of stroke such as your face dropping on one side
- difficulty breathing
- heavy bleeding that won’t stop
- or sudden and rapid swelling of the eyes, lips, throat or tongue