Posted: Tue 5th Apr 2022

NHS 111 advice service now available across Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 5th, 2022

Urgent medical and health advice is now available across Wales 24 hours a day, seven days a week following the rollout of the 111 helpline. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The service, which is run by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, provides up-to-date health advice and guidance on which NHS service is right for them. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It can be accessed online at 111.wales.nhs.uk, which contains more than 65 symptom checkers and information about local services, or by telephone by calling 111. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

But if your health concern is urgent, call handlers on the helpline can also help you get the right treatment at the right time and in the right place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The non-emergency service, which operates 24 hours a day, was first piloted in Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea in 2016. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It launched in North Wales in June 2021 and is now available to access in the seven health boards across Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Speaking about the further expansion of the service Richard Bowen, National Programme Director for 111 said: “Often within the NHS, access to urgent care services is really quite confusing. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“You don’t know what services are open when and, depending on your condition, you don’t know which healthcare professional would be the best person for you. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The NHS 111 Wales website and free-to-call 111 number simplifies all of that, so from now on you only have to dial 111 and you will be signposted to one of a range of different options. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’re thrilled that this service is now available to everyone in Wales and I’d like to personally thank everyone involved. This is a significant milestone for NHS Wales and we intend to continue improving the service going forward.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Dr Stephen Bassett, National Clinical Advisor for 111, added: “Until now, people have had to use different numbers to contact different services, but 111 brings them together under one number. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“People calling 111 will firstly speak to a specially-trained call handler who will ask a series of questions. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This will allow the service’s experienced healthcare professionals – nurses and, during evenings, weekends and bank holidays, GPs and pharmacists – to prioritise calls so the most seriously ill are treated first. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Depending on the urgency of their condition, some people will get a call back from a nurse, doctor or pharmacist if they call out-of-hours. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“If they need to see a GP out-of-hours, 111 colleagues can arrange this.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Stephen Clinton, Assistant Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said: “There’s been a lot of great work over the past six years growing NHS 111 Wales and we’re very proud of what has been achieved. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Our teams across Wales now help close to a million people each year with their urgent care needs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Medical advice and information about accessing the right service at the right time is available for free across Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This fantastic service, supported by £15m of Welsh Government funding, will help people receive the most appropriate care for their health needs and will also help to ease pressure on our vital 999 service ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Together with the NHS 111 Wales website, this easy to remember free phone service will make a real difference to our healthcare service in Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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