NHS Direct has been replaced by 111 for the purposes medical enquiries and out of hours call handling.
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When to use it
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
Call 111 if:
- You need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
- You think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
- You don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call.
- You need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.
How does it work?
The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, a walk-in centre or urgent care centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.
Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If you need an ambulance, one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialled 999.
If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.
Typetalk or textphone
If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can use the NHS 111 service through a textphone by calling 18001 111.
Calls are 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 talk back what you’ve typed to the NHS 111 adviser and, in return, type back the adviser’s conversation, so you can read it on your textphone’s display or computer