People in Birmingham and Solihull who need urgent but not emergency care this winter are being urged by Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to call NHS 111.
NHS 111 is the NHS’s free non-emergency phone number which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is staffed by fully-trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics.
You will be asked questions to assess your symptoms, then given healthcare advice or directed towards the local service that can help you best. This could be an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care or walk-in centre, a community nurse, emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist. Advisors will be able to call you an ambulance if your health issue is more serious.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, a local GP and Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCGs, said: “It can be very worrying when you or a family member need healthcare advice but are not sure which NHS service to turn to for support. Fortunately, help is at hand from NHS 111.
“You can call 111 if you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency, or if you think you might need to go to A&E or an urgent care centre but aren’t sure.
“It’s also ideal if you don’t know who to talk to for help with an illness or injury and need information or assurance about what to do next, or if you need healthcare advice when your GP or pharmacy is closed. So, if ever you’re in doubt and you need medical advice fast, call 111 day or night for your direct line to the NHS.”
For less urgent healthcare needs during daytime opening hours, people should contact their local pharmacist or GP in the usual way.
More information about staying well this winter is available by visiting www.nhs.uk/staywell.