People across Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire who need urgent out-of-hours medical help or advice will need to call 111 from today.
The NHS 111 service replaces the out-of-hours telephone access service provided by Shropdoc in line with national policy to provide a consistent, integrated approach to urgent care; but any patients that need to see a clinician out-of-hours will still be seen by a local GP or other appropriate clinician.
Dr Jo Leahy, Chair for Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, explained: “Everyone knows that in an emergency there is only one number to call – 999. We need to make 111 just as recognisable for anyone who needs urgent medical advice or support.
“People in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire will have continued access to out-of-hours GP primary care if they need it, but in using 111 it also makes it easier for patients to access other clinicians and services like pharmacists and dental nurses if they have an urgent need.”
Dr Julian Povey, Clinical Chair for Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said: “We need to switchover to NHS 111 to bring us in line with the rest of country and we aim to do this as smoothly as possible for patients and have been working with Shropdoc to ensure the transition is as simple as possible and people will just need to dial 111 to get access to urgent GP out-of-hours help.”
Dr Russell Muirhead, Chairman of Shropdoc said: “We are working to ensure that the integration of our service with NHS 111 continues to provide a safe and quality service for our patients in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire.”
The NHS 111 service is now offered across the whole of England. It is the number people should call if they require urgent medical advice and it is not an emergency. It is free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if anyone is worried about an urgent medical concern they can call to speak to a fully trained adviser. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect patients to a nurse, GP, pharmacist or a range of other specialist support, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if necessary.
No change for patients in Wales
Patients in Wales should continue to use the Shropdoc number until NHS 111 is launched in Powys by the end of the year.