Just Call 111 – Did You Know ?

According to The News, our local rag, NHS Direct is no more.

But now NHS Direct no longer exists, and people should call the new number if they need health advice, information or if they have a non life-threatening health issue and are not sure where to go for treatment.

So says The News with their headline “NHS Direct switched off as new number kicks in ”

It’s a shame that NHS Direct don’t seem to know, so I’m not on my own in my ignorance. I visited the NHS Direct site earlier today. Not a mention of any different number to call if you happen to live in Hampshire.

Apparently, last month, there was a soft launch of the new NHS number “111”. This new number can be used to call for fast medical help and has “gone live” across Hampshire.

The free number is staffed by a team of advisers, supported by trained paramedics and nurses, who will assess the caller’s symptoms, provide relevant advice and direct them to the right local service at that time. It is hoped pressure will be taken off 999.

I thought that was what NHS Direct was supposed to do. How is this parallel service going to help take the load off the emergency 999 service ?

In trawling the net I have found out that the 111 number has been the subject of debate for some time but am I the only person in the country who is unaware that this change is actually upon us ?

Even The News has only given it minimal prominence.

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