People across East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham who need urgent, but not life-threatening, care are being asked to contact NHS 111 First when they are unsure of where to go when they need help.
People can access the NHS 111 First service by visiting either the 111.nhs.uk website here, or by calling 111 direct when their GP surgery is not available or they do not know where to go before going to a local Emergency Department (ED). By using NHS 111 First patients will be able to get them help that they need by the most appropriate service in a timely and safe way.
Health professionals ranging from nurses, doctors, pharmacists and paramedics, can all provide telephone assessments and advice to people through the NHS 111 service, without patients needing to visit a physical service where required.
NHS 111 First can also send an ambulance should a patient’s condition be serious or life-threatening.
Dr Jackie McGlyn, Clinical Lead for East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The NHS 111 service is always here for anyone seeking the right information on where to go for their specific health need.
“Given the impact COVID and lockdown has made not only on our nation’s health but also on NHS staff, we know how challenging it is for both the patient and our frontline workers to manage the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
“People may feel unsure about what service to use when they have an emerging health need or condition. With NHS 111 First, we will aim to make it as easy as possible for anyone from any background or age group to access the most appropriate service for their health concern, while still giving people the option to be seen at the Emergency Department, if required.
“Of course, we still urge anyone with life-threatening illnesses, injuries or emergencies to continue to dial 999.”
NHS 111 First is part of the ongoing Help Us, Help You campaign, which seeks to address barriers that are deferring patients from accessing NHS services, and, reassure patients that they can receive medical care safely.
For more information, including an easy read guide to 111, visit https://111.nhs.uk/