Published: April 18, 2013
New 111 telephone medical helpline launched across Somerset

A new three digit telephone number – 111 - is now available to people in the Burnham-On-Sea area for those who have an urgent need for medical advice or care that it is not a 999 emergency.

NHS 111 is a free helpline to call from landlines and mobile phones. It’s a fast and easy way to get the right help whatever your health need, wherever you are, and whatever the time.

The new service is staffed by a team of fully trained call advisers and supported by experienced clinicians.

Dr Ed Ford, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group's NHS 111 lead, said: "We know that it can be confusing for patients to find the right health service when they need urgent medical support. 111 is the number to call if you become ill after your GP surgery has closed or at weekends and Bank Holidays. It can also be called if you don’t know what health service you need for your level of ill health or ailment. The number is easy to remember and free to call."

"We want the people in Somerset to understand that they can help themselves and the NHS by calling 111 and avoiding unnecessary delay or the inconvenience of going to a district hospital Accident and Emergency Departments with only minor illness or ailments. NHS 111 should be your first port of call if it’s not an emergency but you need medical help fast."

Advice might include seeing a doctor, attending a walk-in or urgent care centre, having a visit from a community nurses, visiting an emergency dentist or going to late-opening chemist.

"When you call 111, you will be assessed straight away. If it is an emergency, an ambulance will be despatched immediately without the need for any further assessment. For any other health problems, the NHS 111 call advisers will be able to direct you to the service that is best able to meet your needs. For minor illnesses and injuries, the 111 service will be able to provide immediate medical advice."


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