> When to call NHS 111
> How NHS 111 works
> Symptom/injury checker
> When to go to a minor injuries unit or other centre
> Be prepared at home
> First aid podcasts
> Health videos
NHS 111 is a new telephone advice service that replaces NHS Direct and also co-ordinates all the local out of hours medical services available for our patients. It doesn’t replace 999 but works alongside it to help manage urgent cases at times when our GP surgery is shut.
| || || When to call |
NHS 111 is
always open and
all calls are free
If you need urgent medical help when we are closed, and you cannot wait until we’re open again - call 111. For example if:
- You need medical help fast - and it's not a 999 emergency
- You think you might need to go A&E or other NHS urgent care service
- You don't know who to call - or if you don’t have a GP/family doctor
- You want advice or reassurance - eg about first aid or how to manage an illness or injury.
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How NHS 111 works
For more info and leaflets in English and foreign languages, go to NHS 111.
NHS 111 has regionally based teams of health advisers and nurses who know local health services inside out. Our NHS 111 team is based in Ashford.
When you ring, they will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then either:
- Give you the healthcare advice you need, or
- Direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best - for example A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.
Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the service you need.
If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.
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Symptom & injury checker
When you or a member of your family is ill or injured you may be unsure if they need to see a doctor or not. If you’re usure what to do, take a look at our symptom checker.
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When to go to
a minor injuries unit or other centre
If it’s not serious phone your local minor injuries unit (MIU), walk-in centre or urgent care centre instead of going to A&E. You could be seen more quickly and it frees up staff in A&E to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions.
Typically local centres may treat:
- Sprains and strains
- broken bones in the arm, foot or ankle
- wound infections
- minor burns and scalds
- minor head injuries
- insect and animal bites
- minor eye injuries
- injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.
They will NOT treat:
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- major injuries
- stomach pains
- gynaecological problems
- pregnancy problems
- allergic reactions
- alcohol-related problems
- mental health problems
- conditions likely to require hospital admission
Children: Be aware that some MIUs and walk-in centres do not have the facilities to treat young children.
| || || Be prepared |
Be prepared in case of emergencies:
- Print out the details and phone numbers of your local medical centres and keep them where you can see them, such as on your fridge door or in your mobile phone/diary.
- If you have a long-term condition, write down the details of your GP, prescriptions, other medications and any test results. Again, keep them handy so you can give as much information as possible to the person who provides treatment in an emergency.
- Keep a basic first aid kit in your home and ensure that everyone, including children, knows where it is and how to use it.
| || || First aid |
Listen to What to do in a range of first aid situations from Burns to total collapse.
| || || Health videos || |
Watch NHS videos on a range of health topics and situations.