What is NHS Direct Wales?
NHS Direct Wales is a health advice and information service available 24 hours a day, every day. It has operated across Wales for many years and forms the backbone of the 111 service which is currently operating in four of the seven health board areas in Wales and will, over time, be replaced by 111 entirely.
We have updated our website to reflect this development. The www.111.wales.nhs.uk website provides access to a range of health information and helps you to learn more about your health through an A-Z encyclopaedia and lets you search, in your own time, for a dentist, pharmacy or support group in your area.
Our website www.111.wales.nhs.uk also gives people who are feeling unwell and unsure what to do quick and easy access to health advice and support whenever they need it.
Tailored services include online symptom checkers, which can help you to choose what to do or who to see next if you experience common health problems like lower back pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach problems or you’re just feeling generally unwell.
There’s also a local health and social care services search function to allow you to find your nearest dentist, minor injuries unit, pharmacy, GP, sexual health clinics and other services.
Other features and information available on the website include a Pregnancy and Baby guide with sections on getting pregnant, pregnancy, labour and birth, your newborn and babies and toddlers. There are also sections on vaccinations, LGBT health and Easy Read leaflets.
While the 111 service continues to be rolled out across Wales, if you live in the Cardiff and Vale, Betsi Cadwaladr or the Rhondda Cynon Taf/Merthyr areas of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board areas, you can continue to call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 if you are feeling ill and are unsure what to do.
NHS Direct Wales can help you get the right information at the right time and in the right place.
What happens when I call NHS Direct Wales?
When you call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 you will hear a voice message letting you know which services we provide. If you stay on the line, your call will be answered by a call handler who will ask you for some personal details (your name, address and telephone number for example) and your reason for calling. You can remain anonymous if you feel uncomfortable giving your details.
Depending on your reason for calling, you will be put through to a nurse adviser, health information adviser or dental health adviser. Sometimes, during busy periods, all our advisers will be on other calls, so the call handler will agree a time with you when it is okay for an adviser to call you back. This will be within a three hour timeframe.
If you are calling for health advice, it is important that you give us all the information you can. We will ask you:
• How you are feeling.
• What you have done to make yourself feel better
• What medicines you are currently taking
• If you have any existing illnesses
Our advisers may be able to tell you how you can look after yourself at home, or they may recommend seeing a pharmacist (chemist). If the problem is more serious, you may be advised to see your local doctor or go to the hospital. If the problem is more urgent we may advise you to redial your local GP or the local out-of-hours services depending on time of day. If very serious, our advisers can call an ambulance on your behalf.