Residents in Southampton and Portsmouth can now call NHS 111 if they need health advice or information or if they have a non life-threatening health issue and are not sure where to go for treatment. The service will make it easier for people to access local urgent healthcare while taking pressure off the 999 service and local A&E departments.
The easy-to-remember three digit number, which is free to call, replaces NHS Direct (0845 46 47 number) and should be called if medical help is needed fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. A team of advisers supported by trained paramedics and nurses will then assess the caller’s symptoms, provide relevant advice and direct them to the right local service at that time, helping eliminate the need to make lots of telephone calls.
The service, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is being rolled out across England and is expected to be in operation across the country by October 2013.