Family doctors in Somerset are reminding the public to use the NHS 111 number when they are not sure where to go or what health service they need for their level of illness.
Would you know who to call if you became ill overnight or at the weekend? Would you know where to find an out-of-hours pharmacy or emergency contraception? Would you know what to do if you ran out of your essential medication over Christmas and the New Year holiday?
Dr Ed Ford, a Somerset GP and Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group explained: “As a doctor I still find some people unsure what to do or where to go when they become ill, particularly over public holidays like Christmas and the New Year.
“Most people are registered with a GP Practice and practices can now provide pre-booked appointments up to 8.00pm at night. You should call 111 when you need health advice or medical treatment quickly and you cannot wait for an appointment at your GP Practice”.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and the number is free to call from your home or mobile telephone. You should telephone NHS 111 if:
- You need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency
- You think you need to go to district hospital Accident and Emergency Department or another NHS Urgent care Service
- You don’t know who to call for medical help or are not registered with a GP Practice
- You need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
When you call 111 you will speak with a trained adviser. They will ask you questions to find out what help you need.
If you or a family member is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, like a stroke, heart attack, severe loss of blood or someone is unconscious; you should call 999 and ask for an ambulance. You can find out more about NHS 111 by visiting the web site: www.nhs.uk/111