Major Hertfordshire NHS campaign launches urging people to call NHS 111 for urgent medical help

Major Hertfordshire NHS campaign launches urging people to call NHS 111 for urgent medical help

Issued by Herts Urgent Care

Think you need medical help right now? Call 111.

A major Hertfordshire NHS campaign by local clinical commissioning groups, running throughout October, is urging people to call NHS 111 for urgent medical help.

NHS 111 is the single telephone number to get urgent help from a variety of healthcare services. It’s free to call and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Residents who need help quickly but aren’t sure if they need an ambulance can call 111. Last year, NHS 111 Hertfordshire prevented 20,271 unnecessary ambulance call-outs by diverting patients to a service more appropriate for their requirements. This happens through the team of NHS 111 doctors, nurses, palliative nurses, dental nurses and pharmacists assessing people’s symptoms over the phone and helping people access more appropriate support. This could be advice on how to look after yourself, arranging for you to speak to a qualified professional from the team or directing you to the right health service near you, including booking an appointment for you to see a GP in the evenings and at weekends.

Based in Welwyn Garden City and run by Herts Urgent Care (HUC), the NHS 111 call centre provides high quality urgent healthcare to nearly three million patients across the East of England. Last year (2017/18) over 400,000 calls were taken by NHS 111 in Hertfordshire. 

Dr Vipul Parbat, Hertfordshire GP and integrated urgent care lead for Hertfordshire, said:
“You can help us help you get the right medical attention by calling NHS 111 if you have an urgent medical need. Last year, just over 43,000 callers to 111 were given advice by our Clinical Advisory Service within the contact centre, which is made up of GPs, nurses, pharmacists, palliative nurses and dental nurses.”

Dr Rafid Aziz, Medical Director at HUC, said:
“The contact centre gives you the advice you need or arranges help from the right person, saving you time and worry. Depending on your health needs, you could speak directly to a doctor, pharmacist, dentist, or palliative care nurse. We can also put you in touch with a mental health professional. If our advisers feel you need to urgently see a GP or nurse, they can arrange an appointment, even overnight or at weekends.

“Where it is appropriate, patients are directly booked to see a GP out of hours, an emergency dentist, referred to A&E or another service including sending an ambulance.”

For more information visit #Herts111

Notes to editor:

  1. Hertfordshire NHS 111 statistics:
    In 2017/18 (May 2017 – June 2018):
    403,625 calls taken by NHS111 in Hertfordshire
    150,594 people were booked an appointment to see a healthcare professional in the evenings or at a weekend
    43,849 calls were transferred to a clinician in the contact centre to give advice to a patient over the phone
    10,019 people were advised to go to a pharmacist
    5,956 people spoke to a pharmacist based in the contact centre
    ​1,113 people were sent to the Dental Nurse
  2. NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group
    We are the NHS organisation responsible for commissioning (planning, designing and buying) health services on behalf of people who live in Hertfordshire’s council districts of Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford. This is a population of about 627,000. For more information go to: 
  3. NHS East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group
    East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for commissioning (planning, designing and paying for) your NHS services. The CCG is made up of local GPs and health professionals, working together with other clinicians and patients, to decide how the local NHS budget of £611m should be spent.
    The CCG serves about 600,000 people registered at 57 GP Practices across east and north Hertfordshire.For more information go to:
  4. Herts Urgent Care
    HUC is a Social Enterprise CIC delivering high quality integrated urgent healthcare services to nearly 3 million people across the three counties.
    HUC was founded in 2007 and has a proven track record of delivering high quality Out of Hours unscheduled care in Hertfordshire since 2008 and extended our services in 2012 to include NHS 111. The Integrated Urgent Care model of providing both the NHS 111 and Out of Hours services has been a success in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough as well as Luton & Bedfordshire.  Now recognised as good practice for the future of urgent healthcare services, the success of the HUC model is demonstrated by the seamless referral processes experienced by patients.
    For more information go to: