Oxfordshire residents are encouraged to contact NHS 111 first if they are thinking of attending an Emergency Department.
NHS 111 is a national system that people can contact if they need clinical advice. Now, people who need clinical advice but aren't in a life-threatening emergency are encouraged to contact NHS 111 first before attending their local Emergency Department (A&E).
They will then be assessed and, if appropriate, booked into either the John Radcliffe or Horton General Hospital Emergency Department for treatment.
However, if it would be more appropriate for them to receive clinical advice elsewhere, they will be advised on:
- how to self-care if required
- visiting their local pharmacy, dentist, optician, or their own GP for help
- visiting a local Minor Injuries Unit.
This three digit number gives patients access to local NHS healthcare services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls from landlines and mobiles to 111 are free. The service is part of a national programme to make it easier for the public to access urgent health services.
The NHS 111 service gets you through to a team of fully trained advisers, who are supported by experienced clinicians. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the right local service. If they think you need an ambulance, they will send one immediately – just as if you had originally dialled 999.
When to Telephone 111
You should contact 111 if:
- You need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency
- You think you need to go to accident and emergency or another NHS urgent care service
- You do not know who to contact for medical help, or you do not have a GP
- You require health information or reassurance about what to do next
- You need health advice and would usually contact your GP but it is an evening or weekend and they are closed
For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP in the usual way.
The 111 service is also available via ‘Typetalk’ for deaf or hard-of-hearing people on number 18001 111.