NHS 111 online first – get the right treatment in the right place

Date: 11 November 2021


The NHS in Oxfordshire is encouraging people if they have an urgent, but not-life-threatening, medical need to visit NHS 111 online first rather than going straight to A&E. This online service will help people right away and if needed, a healthcare professional will call patients back.


NHS 111 online first can be accessed via the website 111.nhs.uk and makes it easier for patients to get the treatment they need in the right place. The service can also direct patients to GPs, minor injuries and first aid units, pharmacies, emergency dental services, mental health support or other more appropriate local services.


NHS 111 online first can also tell people where to get help for their symptoms, how to find general health information and advice, where to get emergency supplies of prescribed medicines and how to get a repeat prescription.


However, if someone has a life-threatening illness or injury, then people should always dial 999.


Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Lead at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:


"With the season for coughs, colds and flu approaching, using NHS 111 online first will ensure everyone who needs medical advice can access it quickly and conveniently, alongside other services, such as GP practices, minor injury units, or high street pharmacists. 


“By using this online service, we can take the pressure off our local hospitals and ambulance service which are already stretched. NHS 111 online first will put you in touch with a healthcare professional if needed and help you get the best treatment.


“We want people to get their booster COVID vaccination and free flu jab when asked – and if they are eligible - to help protect them and keep them well.”


Phil Pimlott, Assistant Director of Operations, Support Services, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said:


“We are extremely busy but are working well with all of our partners at this very challenging time.


“Please continue to use our services when you need them - NHS 111 online provides an alternative way to access support 24/7 and it’s important that our local community use this to get signposted to the right place for their health needs. 


“Anyone who needs the NHS should continue to come forward, and it remains as important as ever as we go into a busy winter period to get your life-saving COVID vaccine and flu jab.”


Lily O’Connor, Deputy Director for Urgent Care at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:


“Our Emergency Departments (A&E) are incredibly busy at the moment, and we continue to work with our health and social care system partner to help patients receive the right care, in the right place.


“Emergency Departments are for genuine emergencies, so before you come to one of our A&Es, just think – is this really an emergency, or could I get medical help elsewhere?


“NHS 111 online is really useful for people who aren’t sure where to go for medical help – the team can signpost you to local facilities who can help you, and also give you advice over the phone. 


“By choosing the right health service for your needs, you not only support people who need genuine emergency care – but also your local NHS staff at this challenging time.”  



Marie Crofts, chief nurse at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:


“Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via NHS 111 to support people of all ages with their mental health. Simply contact NHS 111 to speak to our team of dedicated mental health professionals any time day or night.


“Our Minor Injury Units in Abindgon, Henley and Witney offer urgent care for injuries such as deep cuts, eye injuries, broken bones, severe sprains, minor head injury, minor burns and scalds. Many people go to A&E when they could be treated just as well and probably quicker at an MIU – contact NHS 111 who will be able to advise you and book a slot if necessary.”

  • Summary:

    The NHS in Oxfordshire is encouraging people to visit NHS 111 online first rather than going straight to A&E.

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    11 November 2021