NHS 111 is the Government’s 24-hour direct health advice and information line. that has been put into replace NHS Direct. The service is provided on a Freephone telephone number that is relatively easy to remember and is staffed by highly trained and qualified senior nurses.
The Nurse Advisors use specialised computer programs to assist them in making decisions and advising the callers that use the service. The programs have been developed by computer specialists in conjunction with senior medical consultants. They have been extensively tested and, as a result, the Government and the medical establishment are happy that they are safe and consistent in their approach to problems. The software is subject to continuous review in order to ensure that it meets the ever-changing needs of the NHS.
The service is not a diagnostic service as such, but serves to:
- Identify callers that require more specialised attention, perhaps urgent GP care or hospitalisation.
- Promote advice and self-healthcare for minor ailments.
- Direct callers to other services as required and in the most appropriate time frame.
When you call NHS 111, you are given advice depending upon the symptoms that you describe to the Nurse Advisors over the telephone. If the problem is considered serious you may be asked to attend your local hospital, telephone 999 for an ambulance or call your own GP.
Be prepared to explain:
- Your symptoms, how they affect you and when they began.
- What measures or remedies that you may have tried already.
- What drugs you may be taking on a regular basis.
- Any existing medical conditions that you may have.
- Anything else that you may consider relevant to the acute problem.