NHS 111

NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser.

Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one.

NHS 111 advisers can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.

NHS 111 first!

If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser.

From September 2020 the NHS 111 servie has been developed to offer booked time slots in the emergency department. 

If you are seeking urgent medical care and are thinking of going to A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital but you don’t need an ambulance, you should call 111 or go to www.111.nhs.uk before self-presenting at A&E. This will allow the advisor to put you through to a trained medical professional who will assess your need. There may be lots of alternatives that are better for your needs and will mean you get seen and treated quicker and possibly nearer to home. If you need to go to A&E they will arrange a time slot for you. All you then have to do is go to A&E at your alloted time, register via an express lane and you will be seen within 30 minutes of arrival. That means you aren’t say in a waiting area for a long period of time and you can maintain social distancing. 

Here, the head of the Emergency Department explains why it is important to use 111 First.

And if you’re worried about the expertise of the person on the other end of the phone this video from North West Ambulance Service should help. 


For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist.


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How does NHS 111 work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of fully trained advisers. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms and, depending on the situation, will then:

  • give you self-care advice
  • connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP
  • book you a face-to-face appointment
  • book you a time slot at A&E if you need to be seen there.
  • send an ambulance directly, if necessary
  • direct you to the local service that can help you best with your concern

Calls to 111 are recorded. All calls and the records created are maintained securely, and will only be shared with others directly involved with your care.

Information recorded during the call will be shared with other professionals directly involved in your care. Some of it will also be shared with NHS Digital to improve NHS 111 and 999 services. Find out more about how this information may be used (PDF, 179kb).

Is the 111 service available online?

You can also get help or advice online using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

You can:

  • answer questions about your symptoms
  • find out where to go for help if you can’t see your GP or dentist, or get a call back from a nurse
  • get advice on self care

Get help online now

The online service is not available for children under 5.

How do I access NHS 111 if I am deaf?

NHS 111 offers a video relay service that allows you to make a video call to a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

The BSL interpreter will call an NHS 111 adviser on your behalf, and you will then be able to have a real-time conversation with the NHS 111 adviser via the interpreter.

You’ll need a webcam, a modern computer and a good broadband connection to use this service. Visit NHS 111 BSL interpreter service for more details and an online user guide.

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’s happening.

A typetalk relay assistant will automatically join the call. They’ll 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.

Translation service

There’s also a confidential interpreter service, which is available in many languages. Simply mention the language you wish to use when the NHS 111 operator answers your call.

Feedback and complaints

Your feedback is vital in helping the NHS 111 service improve – we want to hear your views, good or bad. NHS 111 is commissioned locally by the NHS, and there are several providers that deliver the service in each area.

Each locally commissioned NHS 111 service has set up channels for you to provide feedback directly to them. Please check with your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) for details.

If you wish to make a complaint about your NHS 111 services, please follow the NHS complaints procedure.

More information

NHS 111 easy read leaflet

NHS 111 patient leaflets

Last updated on 9 February 2021 at 11:31 by Senior communications and engagement officer N