NHS 111 is free and available 24 hours a day; it is a non-emergency service that offers urgent health care assessments. It can signpost you to the most appropriate care for your condition; this could be self-care, your GP, a local pharmacy, a walk-in centre, or the emergency department, or we’ll arrange an emergency ambulance if required.
When you call 111, the first voice you will hear is one of our specially trained health advisors who will take you through a series of questions. These questions are important as your answers determine how we can help you.
We also have a team of clinicians in our control room who provide additional assessment and advice, when required, over the phone. Our team of clinicians includes qualified paramedics and nurses
Here are our top ten myth-busters which may come in handy:
NHS 111 can arrange blood tests, provide test results, and access patient medical records.
We cannot arrange blood tests or provide you with any test results and we cannot access patients’ medical records. Your general practice surgery or for hospital-arranged tests, your consultant should be your first port of call for this.
NHS 111 can answer COVID-19 passport queries or other COVID-19 queries which are not symptom based.
119 is the number you should call if you have questions or need help with COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, NHS COVID-19 passport, and more.
NHS 111 can make referrals for x-rays.
We are unable to arrange x-rays for you, this can only be arranged via your local general practice surgery services or urgent care centre.
Appointments can be booked by NHS 111 without the need for an assessment.
We will always conduct a full assessment with you and ask a series of questions. You may feel that some of the questions are unnecessary, but patient care and safety are our top priorities. We need to rule out a life-threatening condition first and direct you to the most appropriate healthcare service to suit your needs as quickly as possible, which may be that we book you an appointment.
NHS 111 can prescribe prescriptions.
Your general practice surgery or pharmacist should be the first port of call for all your prescription needs as we don’t prescribe. We can put you in touch with services such as an out-of-hours doctor, late opening pharmacies, and community nurse if we think you need this. Our advice would be to stay stocked up and well prepared ahead of weekends and bank holidays.
NHS 111 has control of the length of time you wait for a service you have been connected to.
Once we have connected you to a care service, wait times are managed by that service and not by us. For example, if you are referred to an out-of-hours GP, the wait time for that GP will depend on the number of people also waiting, and we cannot determine wait times.
NHS 111 can arrange patient transport service journeys.
Our patient transport service (PTS) is separate from NHS 111 and covers eligible patients in Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside. You will need to contact our PTS service to check eligibility.
NHS 111 forces ambulances on people when they don’t want it.
If after assessment, we determine that an ambulance is required, our health advisors are not able to provide different advice to this as the call is deemed serious enough for the person to require an ambulance. We will transfer to our 999 service for further assessment.
NHS 111 can chase referrals GPs have made.
We don’t have access to patients’ medical records and therefore cannot do this. Contact the number on your referral letter in the first instance. If you do not have a letter, contact the hospital your referral was made with.
NHS 111 can arrange routine dental appointments.
We can signpost you to an emergency dentist for urgent dental help when your routine dental surgery is closed.