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NHS 111 launched in Hertfordshire

posted 14 Oct 2012, 13:34 by Unknown user
Anyone who lives in, or is visiting, Hertfordshire, can now call 111 when they need medical help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency, life-threatening situation.

NHS 111 provides a new way to ensure people receive the right care, from the right person, in the right place, at the right time. They will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that can help them best.  That could be an out of hours GP, a minor injuries unit, community nurse, late opening pharmacist, an urgent care centre or A & E.

The 111 number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free. For less urgent health needs, such as flu or stomach upset, patients should still contact their GP or local pharmacist in the usual way. Callers to GP practices out of hours will be directed to call 111, free of charge, or the call will be diverted, but the caller will be charged the local rate.

The new NHS 111 service is being introduced to make it easier for the public to access the right services. In Hertfordshire, the NHS 111 service is provided on a pilot basis by Herts Urgent Care, which currently provides the GP out of hours service.

In conjunction with our article on Which emergency health service? this new service can help residents get the right response from the NHS when they need it most.