When to call
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.