When the surgery is closed, we hand over the out-of-hours work to NHS 111, the Out of Hours service will advise you on how best to deal with the problem. To assist you, we have answered some common questions below:
What will happen when I call 111?
When you call NHS 111 the person who answers will take your name and address. You will then be passed to a fully trained nurse who will ask you about your symptoms, or the symptoms of the person for whom you are calling. The nurse will assess the symptoms and then decide whether advice is all that is needed or whether a doctor should see the patient at a Centre or at home if medically necessary. In a serious or life threatening situation the nurse will arrange an ambulance for you.
Will a Doctor still see me?
YES, if this is necessary. Patients who need to be seen by a Doctor will be. If you, or a member of the family, need to be seen by a Doctor when your surgery is closed, then NHS 111 will contact your Out of Hours service. The nurse will already have taken details of the illness and the current symptoms. With your permission, the nurse will pass on this information and arrange for the patient to be seen either at a medical centre or, if medically necessary, at home. Going to a medical centre to see a Doctor is accepted to be safe and makes best use of the Doctor’s time. If a child is so ill that hospital admission is required, the child will have to leave the house at some point, so the sooner the better. Patients who are terminally ill, too frail or so ill they cannot leave the house, will be visited at home, if necessary, by a Doctor.
What if I’m not sure whether I need to see a Doctor or not?
The advantage of having NHS 111 is that you can call them if you or someone you know is worried about a health-related problem but you’re not sure if you need to see a Doctor.
What information should I have ready when I call NHS 111?
As far as possible you should have details of the illness clearly in your mind before making the call. Any medicines being taken should also be at hand or have a list of them ready, as you will be asked about them.
Should I still call 999 in an emergency?
YES. If someone is seriously ill, for example with chest pains, severe bleeding, serious difficulty in breathing, or has collapsed then you should dial 999 as you would normally expect to do.
What about a possible serious illness?
If you are unsure whether an illness is serious or not you can call NHS 111. NHS 111 will give you advice on what to do and will also arrange an ambulance and a doctor, if this proves necessary.
Should I call NHS 111 during the day?
NHS 111 is a 24-hour, 365 days a year service and you can contact it at any time. However NHS 111 will not be involved with making appointments for daytime surgeries. If you need to see a doctor, telephone the surgery as usual for an appointment or test result when the surgery is open. Please do not call NHS 111 for a repeat prescription, routine appointment or test result.