With hospital Accident and Emergency departments and the 999 ambulance service reporting increased demand this month*, Somerset’s GPs are reminding patients who might be unsure what medical service they need to call the 111 telephone helpline first for advice.
NHS 111 is available to call 24 hours of the day, seven days a week, including weekends, and it’s free to call from your mobile or home telephone.
Dr Matthew Dolman, Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Somerset’s hospital Accident and Emergency Departments and ambulance service are under a lot of pressure at this time of the year. You can help yourself and the NHS by choosing the right treatment for your level of illness or injury. If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, then telephone 111.”
You should use the NHS 111 service if:
- You need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency;
- You think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service;
- You don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call; or
- You require health information, such as where to find an emergency dentist,a pharmacist or emergency contraception.
For less urgent health needs, you can contact your pharmacist or if you have a persistent health problem see your GP.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, telephone 999.
If you are feeling under the weather and need some advice about treating minor illness or ailments ask you pharmacist for advice or visit www.nhs.uk/asap for online advice about keeping well this winter.
Note for Editors
* Ref: BBC Online - West Midlands A&E and ambulances 'stretched to limit' - 14-12-14
Near-record 999 calls in the West Midlands have led A&E units and the ambulance service to say they are "stretched to the limit".
Story - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30468794