News : Patients Urged to Call 111 for Health Issues
North Staffordshire, Nov 18, 2014 -- One year on from the launch of the non-emergency 111 number, doctors in Staffordshire are advising patients to find the fastest route to the care they need.
The phone line gives members of the public access to advice from trained staff, including doctors and nurses, who can direct them to the nearest and most appropriate health services for treatment.
Dr Julie Oxtoby, chair of North Staffordshire CCG, said: "The NHS 111 number is the perfect first port of call for anyone looking for medical advice where they are unwell or have an injury but are unsure where the best place to go for treatment is.
"The call centre is linked to other organisations across the local health service and can quickly assess what care a caller needs and where the most appropriate place to go in the immediate area is to get that care straight away.
"Sometimes someone who has hurt themselves or is unwell may not realise that the care they need is close by, at their GPs, a walk-in centre, or even from their local pharmacists who offer free, qualified health advice at any time with no appointment and can help to treat coughs, colds, aches and pains, and offer expert advice on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines."
NHS 111 is free to call and available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The service was launched to free up health workers from having to deal with issues that can be sorted with advice not requiring medical appointments.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, November 20, 2014