May 24 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The NHS today launches a new helpline – 111 – for situations that are “urgent but not life-threatening”.
It’s a bid to cut down on unnecessary calls to 999 and ensure people can access the most appropriate care for them.
You should call 111 if you don’t have a 999 emergency but you still need help fast, if you don’t think the problem can wait for an appointment with your GP, or if you don’t know who to call for medical help.
Havering is among nine London boroughs rolling out the free 24/7 service, with the rest of the capital to follow in the summer.
If you ring 111, an advisor will assess your condition and direct you to the best place to get help. This could be a doctor or nurse, an urgent care centre, an emergency dentist or a late-opening pharmacy. It could also be a 999 ambulance as the new number will be linked to the emergency services.
Romford GP Dr Richard Burack said: “Launching 111 is another step in our plans to help patients access the right care more quickly. There are now only three numbers you need to remember to get help if you are ill – your local GP, 111, or 999.”
Anyone who calls NHS Direct or an out-of-hours GP in Havering will be automatically redirected to 111.