New 111 number to be called if you need urgent medical help
A NEW healthcare telephone number will up and running from June making it easier for people to access local help fast.
The service NHS 111 is not a 999 emergency number. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
The NHS say the 111 number should be used if you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency; you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call; or if you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
The 111 service has been awarded to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and will be launched in June this year – the 111 number is not yet live so until June callers will simply receive a pre-recorded message.
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Dr Mike Haugh, clinical governance lead for 111 in Devon, said: "I am delighted that a service provider has been agreed and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.
"SWASFT has considerable experience of delivering emergency care and I'm confident that they will offer a high-quality 111 service as well. We will now be working with them to ensure a successful launch of the new 111 service in June 2013."
And Ken Wenman, chief executive of SWASFT said he was "delighted" the Trust had been chosen.
He said: "We know people are not always clear about which NHS service to use when they need help quickly.
"NHS 111 is an important step in our journey towards improving the way that patients use urgent healthcare services.
"The 111 number will be simple to remember and our call handlers and wider clinical assessment system will ensure people get the health support they need.
"As an ambulance service we aim to provide excellent care to every one of our patients and we know we can continue to do this for the people of Devon calling 111, ensuring they get the right care, in the right place, at the right time."
The 111 number is not the same as the emergency 999 number but it is the number to call if you need medical help quickly.
Callers will be asked questions so the call handlers can assess symptoms and direct the caller to the local provider that can help them best.