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What is NHS 111?

NHS 111 can help if you need medical help quickly but are not in an emergency/life-threatening situation.

To get help from NHS 111 you can:

  • go to the 111.nhs.uk website (for people aged 5 and over only)
  • use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service at www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111
  • call 18001 111 on a textphone or use Typetalk
  • hearing people can call 111 by phone

It is different to the emergency number, 999

NHS 111 is a service that helps people access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call or use NHS 111 online at any time because the service is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The NHS BSL interpreter service is open from 8am to midnight every day. Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Here are some more reasons you might use NHS 111:

  • you think you need to go to A&E/hospital
  • you need care quickly from the NHS
  • you need help but don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information
  • you are ill and need to be told what to do next

How do I contact NHS 111?

Use your phone to contact 999 in an emergency, when a person’s life is at risk. If you are D/deaf or have hearing loss, you can use the 999 emergency text service. You MUST register your phone to use this service. We explain how to do this on the emergency page on our website, in plain English and in BSL.

Go online, use Typetalk, a textphone or the BSL interpreter service to contact NHS 111 when you need help quickly, but no-one’s life is at risk.

Visit your doctor if you need non-urgent medical advice.

Visit your chemist or pharmacist if you need general health information.

What will happen when I contact NHS 111?

Whichever way you contact NHS 111, you answer questions about your symptoms.

Depending on your symptoms you will:

  • find out what local service can help you
  • be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  • get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  • be told how to get any medicine you need
  • get self-care advice

What happens when you use the NHS 111 textphone number?

For D/deaf people or people with hearing loss, use your textphone and call 18001 111.

Your call will be connected to the TextDirect system and the textphone will display messages to tell you what is happening. A Typetalk relay assistant will automatically join the call. They will see what you have typed, and will talk your message to the NHS 111 adviser. The NHS 111 will reply using the relay assistant who will type the message and send it to you to read.

Calls to 111 are recorded but will only be shared with people directly involved with your care.

What happens when you use the NHS 111 BSL interpreter service?

You can also get help from NHS 111 using the NHS 111 BSL interpreter service.

  • InterpreterNow is a service that lets deaf and hearing people communicate with each other.
  • Using your computer and webcam, or the InterpreterNow app on your smartphone or tablet, you make a video call to a BSL interpreter.
  • The interpreter will phone an NHS 111 adviser and relay your conversation with them.

For more details or to use the service go to the InterpreterNow website at: www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111

How can I find out more?

You can find out more about NHS 111, including a BSL film about the service at www.nhs.uk/111