The 111 service, which brings together NHS Direct Wales and GP out-of-hours services, is currently being rolled out across Wales following a successful pilot in what was then the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board area.
Since that time, the 111 service, which is available either online or free from all telephones, whether landline or mobile, has been deployed in the Hywel Dda, Powys and Aneurin Bevan Health Board areas, as well as Bridgend, now part of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know which service to contact and when, so introducing this memorable three-digit number will make it easier not just to access health information and advice if you are ill and unsure what to do, but to also access urgent care once your GP surgery has closed.
The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing health information, advice and access to urgent out-of-hours primary care.
Calling 111 will help to signpost you to the right service – for example, a GP, nurse, pharmacist or a Minor Injury Unit – where you will often be seen far more quickly than in Emergency Departments, which focus on patients with major illnesses or injuries that can only be treated there.
Remember, 999 should only ever be used when there is a life-threatening emergency, so if it is not an emergency, use 111.If you live outside the areas currently covered by the 111 service, or are registered with a GP practice in another county, you won’t be able to ring 111 but you can still get help 24/7 from NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or online www.111.wales.nhs.uk.
Getting Through to 111
If you live in Wales near the border with England, and you ring 111, you may be asked to select the service you wish to contact: Wales or England. Choose NHS 111 Wales and we will ensure you receive the health information and advice you are looking for.
If you live in Wales and are registered with a GP in England, there may be circumstances in which NHS 111 Wales refers you to a service in England if this is the right thing for you.
The reverse is also true, so if you live in England near the border with Wales and you ring 111, you may be asked to select the service you wish to contact: England or Wales. Choose NHS 111 England and they will ensure you receive the health information and advice you need. If you live in England and you are registered with a GP in Wales, there may be circumstances in which NHS 111 England refers you to a service in Wales if this is the right thing for you.
Remember, if you live in the Cardiff and Vale, Betsi Cadwaladr or Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (except Bridgend) areas, the 111 service hasn’t yet been rolled out to you, but you can still access NHS Direct Wales here www.111.wales.nhs.uk or on 0845 46 47.
We’ve had some feedback which suggests that not everyone has been able to get through to the new 111 number when using a mobile phone. We think this is because callers are using a feature on their mobile phones called Wi-Fi Calling. With Wi-Fi Calling you can call and text whenever you’re on Wi-Fi, even if there’s no phone signal. Unfortunately, this might present a problem if you’re trying to call 111.
To turn off Wi-Fi Calling, you’ll need to change the settings in your phone. The process is slightly different for each phone, so please contact your service provider for help on how to do this. Alternatively, you can call 111 from a landline telephone.
111 Service for deaf and hard of hearing people
InterpreterNow is a service that enables deaf (and hearing) British Sign Language [BSL] users to communicate with hearing people via an online BSL interpreter. InterpreterNow can be accessed using a computer, or via the InterpreterNow app onto your smartphone or tablet.
Once you have contacted the InterpreterNow service, the interpreter will contact us by telephone and relay your conversation with a member of our team e.g. a Nurse Advisor or a Health Information Adviser, depending on what the problem is.
You will be asked a series of questions to assess your needs and then will be provided with the healthcare advice/information you need or you will be directed to the local service that can help you best. The service is currently being piloted in 111 Wales areas and is available 7 days a week, between 8.00am & midnight.
Click on the following link for more information and guidance on how to download InterpreterNow on to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and don’t use BSL or you don’t have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, you can still contact 111 via Next Generation Text/Text Relay (previously known as Type Talk) by dialling 18001 111.
Your Information and 111
It is important that healthcare professionals have access to relevant medical information to provide you with the very best care and treatment. When you phone 111, the telephone message will advise you that we will share relevant information with other health and care professionals involved in your direct care unless you advise us differently.
By providing consent to share information, it allows us to ensure that, if you do need to speak to someone in the GP out-of-hours service, they will have access to the information that you have already provided and avoids you needing to repeat information (such as your address and symptoms).
A summary of your contact with the 111 service will also be available at your GP practice. If you don’t want your information to be shared, it is important that you advise the call taker so that they can ensure that no information is transmitted to the GP out-of-hours service and to your GP practice.
The Welsh Ambulance Service and the health boards’ GP out-of-hours services are fully compliant with the law on information sharing and will only share information that is necessary to provide you with the best care. We will not share or sell information with or to third parties outside of the NHS.
Click here for more information about how we manage your information.
There is also information on the Welsh GP Record (formerly known as the Individual Health Record). This record is available to the GP out-of-hours service and will help to make sure that you are provided with the right care and treatment. Click here for more information.
Got a Question?
Click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions document.
Whether you have had a good experience or you think we could have done better, you can tell us by taking this survey.
If you have a concern about the service that you have received from 111, please contact the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Putting Things Right Team.
If you have a concern about Swansea Bay (ABMU) GP out-of-hours service, click here to raise it.
If you have a concern about Hywel Dda’s GP out-of-hours service, click here to raise it.
If you have a concern about PTHB’s GP out-of-hours service, click here to raise it.
If you have a concern about Aneurin Bevan’s GP out-of-hours service, click here to raise it.