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NHS 111 service
You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
When to use it
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.
Call 111 if:
- You need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency.
- You think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
- You don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call.
- You need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or Local Pharmacist in the usual way.
How does it work?
The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, a walk-in centre or urgent care centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.
Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to. If you need an ambulance, one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialled 999.
If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.
Typetalk or textphone
If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can use the NHS 111 service through a textphone by calling 18001 111.
Calls are connected to the TextDirect system and the textphone will display messages to tell you what is happening. A Typetalk Relay Assistant will automatically join the call. They will talk back what you've typed to the NHS 111 adviser and, in return, type back the adviser’s conversation, so you can read it on your textphone's display or computer.
NHS 111 easy read leaflet
When to call 999 It is sometimes difficult to know whether or not you need an ambulance. We would urge you to dial 999 if the patient:
- Is unconscious or not breathing
- Has a penetrating injury to the neck, chest, abdomen or thigh
- Has had a severe allergic reaction
- Has uncontrolled bleeding
- Is having an asthma attack and is unresponsive to medication
- Has severe chest pain (heart attack)
- Is fitting (if this is unusual for the patient)
- Has taken an overdose
- Has been submerged in water for more than one minute
- Has fallen more than 10 feet
- Traumatic back/spinal/neck pain
If you have an emergency at home it is important that we can easily find your house. Therefore, always check that your house number or name is clearly visible from the roadside.
(Extract from South Western Ambulance Service Website 23/03/2016)
Walk-in Centres/Urgent Care Centres
These Centres are staffed by highly trained nurses, able to advise on a wide range of medical conditions, including minor injuries. There is a Walk-in Centre and Urgent Care Centre in Bristol. To be seen simply attend and book yourself in at the reception desk.
Urgent Care Centre
South Bristol Community Hospital
Hengrove Park, Bristol
Telephone: 0117 342 9692. Please note. Some sat nav's may locate the hospital better by using BS14 0DB or BS14 0JZ.
Open 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week 365 days a year
Travelling to and from SBCH
Bristol City Walk-In Centre
Broadmead Medical Centre
Telephone: 0117 954 9828
Open Monday - Saturday 8am - 8pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays (Except Easter Sunday and Christmas Day) 11am - 5pm
Bristol Crisis Service - mental health
Callington Road Hospital
Bristol BS4 5BJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0334 (24 hours)
Your local Pharmacist
Your local pharmacist is well qualified to give advice on common complaints, such as coughs, colds, flu, sore throats, aches and pains. They can also answer any questions about medicines and other issues, such as healthy eating and giving up smoking you do not need an appointment. Many pharmacists operate extended hours on a rota basis. Call NHS Direct for details.
If you are entitled to free prescriptions at the doctors, the pharmacies can also issue free prescriptions.
NB: REMEMBER that your local pharmacy can give you advice about medicines
Accident and Emergency Department
Whatever the day or time, if you or someone else experiences severe chest pain or loss of blood call 999. If you or someone else has a wound that may need stitching or has suspected broken bones, go to your nearest accident and emergency department.
Accident and emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can access serious injuries and provide emergency treatment.