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Non-emergency health number set for release
10:00am Friday 28th September 2012 in News
A NON-emergency telephone number for round-the-clock access to NHS services will be fully launched next month.
The 111 line will give advice and also organise out-of-hours care from GPs, community nurses or an ambulance.
The number will eventually replace services provided by the online service NHS Direct and will mean there are just three numbers for people looking for urgent care – 999 for life-threatening emergencies, their GP practice, and 111.
The 111 service – which is also being rolled out nationally – will be staffed by call advisers supported by nurses.
The existing NHS Direct service is also initially answered by trained non-clinical staff, but they are not able to request ambulances or book appointments.
The number has been up and running since July but had not been actively advertised. This will happen next month.
The phone operators can send out an ambulance, put them straight through to a nurse, book an out-of-hours GP appointment, or direct them to a pharmacist or dentist.