When it’s urgent, call or visit NHS 111 this winter

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2018)

Devon’s doctors are urging patients to use the NHS 111 system for health advice through the winter months as hospitals become increasingly busy.

The free to call service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can provide patients with advice on any urgent issues that they may be facing.

The service is staffed by a team of fully trained medical advisers who are assisted by nurses and paramedics who are able to provide information on personal health, direct a patient to a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit and, if necessary, book an appointment with a GP.

New for this year, patients can now access 111 online to get medical help or advice using a smartphone, laptop or other digital device.

Patients can use the new 111 online service to get answers about their symptoms, find out where to get the right healthcare in their local area, get advice on self-care and access further advice from a nurse or doctor on the phone, if necessary.

Dr Lisa Gibbons, GP and NHS 111 clinical lead for Devon, tell us:‘If you are worried about an urgent medical concern, the 111 service is an invaluable source of information for patients, particularly at this time of year when our A&E departments are very busy. Depending on the situation, advisers can connect you to a nurse, an emergency dentist, or even a GP, getting you the right medical attention when you urgently need it.

‘Advisers are able to book appointments over the phone, and if they think that you need an ambulance they can arrange it.’

However, patients are reminded to contact 999 should there be a life-threatening emergency.

Dr Gibbons added: ‘A&E departments need to be able to concentrate on the most serious conditions, so if it is not an emergency please phone 111 or visit 111 Online www.111.nhs.uk’

NHS organisations involved: Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group.

Bob Jope HEALTHWATCH TORBAY

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(Author)

Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!