111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained advisor, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • Your GP surgery is closed
  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number. For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, call 999.

What happens when your telephone call is answered by a Health Advisor?

Your NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of local fully trained advisors, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an In or Out of Hours Doctor, an Urgent Care Centre or a Walk-in Centre, a Community Nurse, an Emergency Dentist or Pharmacist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to and if NHS 111 advisors think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.

NHS 111 was launched initially in Hertfordshire by HUC in 2012. HUC also subsequently launched NHS 111 in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough; this service has been operational since 2013.

Contacting NHS 111 if you have difficulties communicating or hearing

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can contact NHS 111 by textphone on 18001 111. You can also get help from the NHS 11 BSL interpreter service via nhs.uk/111

The following assets are also available in alternative formats to help users understand how to access NHS 111, whether online or over the phone.