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NHS 111

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NHS 111 in Bedfordshire

Anyone who lives in, or is visiting, Bedfordshire, have a  number to call when they need medical help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency, life-threatening situation. The number is 111.

This NHS phone service provides a new way to ensure you receive the right care, from the right person, in the right place, at the right time. When you call you will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that can help you best.  That could be an out of hours GP, a walk-in centre, community nurse, late opening pharmacist, or if needed, A & E.

The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free. The NHS Direct phone service is no longer operating in Bedfordshire.

For less urgent health needs, such as flu or stomach upset, you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way. You can still call your GP practice any time, to be directed where to go or call.

In Bedfordshire, the NHS 111 service is provided by Herts Urgent Care (HUC). Callers to 111 will speak with fully trained call advisers who are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They use a clinical assessment system to assess callers’ needs safely and effectively and direct them to the right NHS service. NHS 111 helps patients get the right service at the right time.

Download NHS111 Easy Read Leaflet here. 

A British Sign Language (BSL) video about NHS 111 is available to view here.

More information on NHS 111 can be found on the NHS website here.

When to use it

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

How does it work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses, paramedics and doctors. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be, an out-of-hours doctor, a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening pharmacy, or if your condition warrants it, A&E.

Who takes you call when you dial NHS111? 

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.If you have a comment, complaint or suggestion to make about the 111 phone service, contact the provider, Herts Urgent Care, by clicking here.

111 Q&A

When can I use 111?  

Here are some examples:

·         If you think you might need to go to A&E - dial 111.

·         If you are not sure how to access local health services, or which would be the best service for you to use - dial 111.

·         If you need urgent dental care but your dental surgery is closed or you need an emergency dentist - dial 111.

·         If you are not sure whether you can treat a medical condition yourself, or how to do this - dial 111.

·         If you need information about a health issue - dial 111.

You can dial 111 at any time, day or night.

What happens when I call 111?

When you call 111, you will speak to an adviser from the 111 team.  The team has trained advisers and clinicians (doctors and nurses) who can help you.  They will ask you questions to find out what help you need.  The 111 service will be able to:

·         decide what medical help you need,

·         tell you where to go to get this help, and

What can 111 offer me?

The 111 team can put you in touch with services according to your need.  The 111 team has clinicians (doctors and nurses) on site and can assess your symptoms and refer you to the correct services.  These services include;

·         Out-of-hours GP

·         Walk-in Centres

·         Community nursing

·         Emergency dental services

·         Late opening pharmacies

·         A&E, if you need to go there


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