111 is the NHS non-emergency number.
It's free and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The NHS 111 service is there to help if:
- you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation where you would need to call 999
- you need health information, reassurance or advice about what to do or where to go for help – including if you think you might need to go to A&E or another urgent care service but don’t know for sure
Calls are answered by a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals such as GPs, nurses and paramedics. The advisor will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and give you healthcare advice or get a doctor to speak to you so that you are directed to the local service that can help you best.
Depending on your needs, this could be:
- A chemist or pharmacist who can give you the medicines or creams you need to treat yourself at home
- Your regular GP or an out-of-hours doctor
- A walk-in centre such as an urgent treatment centre or minor injuries unit
- A community nurse
- An emergency dentist
- A&E if you have an issue such as severe chest pain, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding. If the NHS 111 adviser thinks you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you
Where possible, and if needed the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment with a health professional (such as out-of-hours GP).
NHS111 and your personal information and data
Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely. Information recorded during the call will be shared with other professionals directly involved in your care. The professionals advising you will have access to your medical records and will ask you if they can look at these if necessary.