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> Using NHS 111
> Symptom/injury checker
> When to go to a minor injuries unit or other centre
> Be prepared at home
> First aid podcasts
> Health videos

NHS 111 is a regionally based, national telephone advice service that co-ordinates all the local out of hours NHS medical services available for our patients.Our NHS team is based in Ashford and knows our local services inside out.

NHS 111 doesn’t replace 999. It works alongside it to help manage urgent cases at times when GP surgeries are shut.


When to call
NHS 111

NHS 111 is
always open and
all calls are free

If NHS 111 thinks you need emergency medical help, they will send an ambulance to you straight away. 

Otherwise they will tell you what to do, or arrange other help as necessary (such as a home visit from the out of hours doctor).

When we are closed, dial 111 for advice or medical treatment that cannot wait until we are open.

If you need emergency, life-saving, medical treatment, you must call 999 or go straight to Accident and Emergency Department of your nearest hospital (A&E).

Calling 111 makes it easy for you to get in touch with your local health services (and helps keep the 999 number free for very serious emergency cases.

When you ring 111, specially trained NHS nurses and/or health advisers ask questions to assess your needs, then either:

  • Decide what medical help you need
  • Tell you where to get this medical help - eg A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre of a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist and if appropriate
  • Transfer your call to the service you need, or book an appointment for you where possible, or
  • If they think you need an ambulance they will book one to come for you.

Find out more on the NHS 111 website and download explanatory leaflets in different languages.



Symptom & injury checker

When you or a member of your family is ill or injured you may be unsure if they need to see a doctor or not. If you’re usure what to do, take a look at our symptom checker.



When to go to
a minor injuries unit or other centre

If it’s not serious don't go to A&E. Instead phone your our Minor Injuries Clinic (8am-6.30pm), or one of the areas other minor injuries units (MIU), walk-in centres or urgent care centres. You could be seen more quickly and it frees up staff in A&E to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions.

Typically local centres may treat:

  • Sprains and strains
  • broken bones in the arm, foot or ankle
  • wound infections
  • minor burns and scalds
  • minor head injuries
  • insect and animal bites
  • minor eye injuries
  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.

They will NOT treat:

  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • major injuries
  • stomach pains
  • gynaecological problems
  • pregnancy problems
  • allergic reactions
  • overdoses
  • alcohol-related problems
  • mental health problems
  • conditions likely to require hospital admission

Children: Be aware that some MIUs and walk-in centres do not have the facilities to treat young children.


 Be prepared
at home

Be prepared in case of emergencies:

  • Print out the details and phone numbers of your local medical centres and keep them where you can see them, such as on your fridge door or in your mobile phone/diary.
  • If you have a long-term condition, write down the details of your GP, prescriptions, other medications and any test results. Again, keep them handy so you can give as much information as possible to the person who provides treatment in an emergency.
  • Keep a basic first aid kit in your home and ensure that everyone, including children, knows where it is and how to use it.


 First aid

Listen to What to do in a range of first aid situations from Burns to total collapse.


 Health videos

Watch NHS videos on a range of health topics and situations.


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website