There are a number of services available to support you when you’re feeling unwell. NHS 111, GP practices and pharmacists are all able to provide advice and support to ensure you get the right medical help for your needs.
NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for people to access local NHS health care services when they need medical help fast, but it is not a life-threatening situation. It is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
How does NHS 111 work?
A team of fully trained call handlers, supported by nurses and paramedics, assess your symptoms and put you directly in touch with the people who can help; for example, an out of hours doctor, a district nurse or an emergency dentist — or it may be something as simple as a 24 hour pharmacy. NHS 111 can also send an ambulance, without delay, if required. The Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth NHS 111 service is provided by the South Central Ambulance Service, with staff based at the ambulance service call handling centre near Winchester.
Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Is 111 the only number for all health services?
No, the NHS 111 service is not intended to be the only number for access to all health services. For less urgent medical needs you should continue to contact your GP in the usual way and, for immediate life-threatening emergencies call 999. However, should a caller be facing an emergency, NHS 111 call advisers will be able to dispatch an ambulance without delay, the same way 999 call handlers would.
Will I need to call 111 to make an appointment with my GP?
No. You should continue to make appointments direct with your GP practice. However, if you need either a GP or dentist appointment outside of normal opening hours then NHS 111 will be able to arrange this for you.
Calls to NHS 111 are answered by highly trained NHS 111 call handlers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. NHS 111 call handlers have the same level of training as 999 telephone operators and use a state of the art clinical assessment system which has been designed by NHS clinicians to assess callers’ needs effectively, ensuring they are directed to the right NHS service, first time around. All complex calls are passed to a nurse advisor.
Through a series of questions and using the assessment system, the team will advise the best course of action, which could be:
You should call 111 if you:
GPs look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a whole range of health problems. They usually work in practices as part of a team which includes nurses, healthcare assistants, practice managers, receptionists and other staff.
A GP is a doctor who looks after the health of people in their local community and can deal with a whole range of health problems. He or she is there to listen, reassure, offer advice and help identify what’s wrong.
You can register with a GP practice as a temporary resident if you’re sick when away from home for up to three months.
If you have an urgent health issue between 6.30pm and 8.00am on a weekday or during a weekend or bank holiday, you can ring NHS 111 who can arrange an out of hours GP appointment.
All GP practices in our area now offer online appointment booking. You can contact your practice to obtain log in details.
Pharmacists have at least four years of training to become experts in medicine. Your local pharmacist can also use their expertise and practical knowledge to give advice about minor illnesses and injuries. You can talk to a pharmacist in confidence, most now offer private consultation areas and you don’t need to book an appointment.
As well as preparing prescriptions, your local pharmacist uses their extensive knowledge to give advice about over the counter medications, how to take them, and possible side effects. You can walk into any pharmacy, ask for advice and they’ll be happy to help.
If you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor, pop into your local pharmacy and they can help you to decide. With common problems, such as coughs and colds, aches, pains and rashes, a pharmacist can suggest the best remedies or treatments to suit you, so there is no need to book a GP appointment.
Along with this advice the following services may also be available from your local pharmacist:
To become fully qualified, a pharmacist has to study for four years at an approved school of pharmacy, complete one year of work experience and pass a registration exam.
Commonly asked questions about all three services in one handy place.
Your views and feedback are important to us as we strive to ensure health services in Hampshire are the best they can be. If you would like to get in touch with the CCG or if you have any questions or feedback on the information on this website, please contact us via:
Tel: 02380 627 444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Omega House, 112 Southampton Road
Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5PB
For more information about us go to:
The NHS in Hampshire is represented by seven local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs):
Led by local GPs, we are committed to ensuring the public has a strong and clear voice to shape our work and that we are open and transparent in our approach to planning and purchasing the health care you need.
This website was created in 2015 by West Hampshire CCG in order to support local people to manage minor illness and injury.