When it’s not an emergency call urgent care line

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The health service is urging people in Derbyshire who need urgent but not emergency care to call its round-the-clock direct line.

The NHS’s non-emergency phone number 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobiles.

The service is staffed by fully trained advisers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions to assess callers’ symptoms and then either give healthcare advice or direct callers to the local service that is best for their needs.

People can call 111 if they need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency, or if they think they might need to go to A and E or an urgent care centre but aren’t sure.

Dr Ken Deacon, medical director for NHS England, said: “It can be very worrying when you or a family member need healthcare advice but are not sure which NHS service to turn to for support. Fortunately, help is at hand from NHS 111. Call 111 and you’ll be put through to a trained advisor who can assess your concerns and then give you advice about what to do next.

“That might mean directing you to the NHS service that’s best placed to give you the care you need, such as an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening pharmacy. Alternatively it might involve giving you advice to help you look after yourself or your loved one at home. Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book an appointment for you or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If they think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

“So if ever you’re in doubt and you need medical advice fast, call 111 day or night for your direct line to the NHS.”

For advice on staying healthy visit www.nhs.uk/staywell