Public should continue to use NHS 111 online for swift health advice

The NHS is reminding the public to continue to use 111 online for health advice and to only dial 999 in an emergency ahead of the August bank holiday weekend.

Local NHS services experienced a surge in demand over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend – we’re pleased to see an increase in the number of people using 111 over bank holiday weekends and we encourage more people to use 111 online for quick advice about the best options for getting the care they need.

Ahead of the long weekend, local health chiefs have encouraged the public to continue to use services in the usual way and to come forward for care as soon as they need it. Support can include a clinician calling the patient back to discuss their symptoms or the patient being referred on to one of a wide range of services.

Visit the NHS England South East website to find out which local pharmacies remain open, for those people needing to pick up prescriptions or for other health advice. GP practices are open as usual on Tuesday.

Dr Vaughan Lewis, Medical Director for the NHS in the South East of England, said: “We are extremely grateful to the dedicated teams across the NHS in South East of England who will be working hard over the bank holiday weekend to ensure all those that need care receive it.

“The NHS 111 online service is the most convenient way for people to access care helping to direct them to the right service quickly as well as providing medical advice.

“And it remains imperative that the public dial 999 in an emergency.

“So if you are unwell this weekend, please don’t delay and come forward for care as soon as you need it – the NHS is here for you”.

NHS 111 online can help you with:

  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription
  • get emergency dental appointments

You should ring 999 if you experience:

  • signs of a heart attack like pain, like a heavy weight in the centre of your chest
  • signs of stroke, such as your face dropping on one side
  • difficulty breathing
  • heavy bleeding
  • unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
  • traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if:

  • you think the patient’s illness or injury is life-threatening
  • you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital
  • the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel