Residents and visitors to Devon are being reminded that if they have an urgent health issue this summer they can access medical advice online or by phone 24 hours a day at NHS111.
Anyone contacting 111 who needs emergency medical care from a hospital Emergency Department (also known as A&E) will be given direct access to the department. Staff at NHS111 can also refer patients through to Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Treatment Centres. This will ensure that people get to the right place for treatment quickly and may reduce their waiting times.
NHS Devon’s Clinical Lead for Urgent Care and Plymouth GP Dr Dafydd Jones said: “Using NHS111 online or by phone allows you to access medical advice for urgent health issues from the comfort of your home and with the knowledge that, if you do need go to a minor injuries unit or emergency department, you can be booked directly in and have a shorter wait on site. It also helps to reduce pressure on our busy urgent and emergency care services.”
“When you are injured or unwell it can be difficult to know where best to access help, especially outside normal working hours. NHS111 staff have the expertise to make that decision for you and advise you where to go, if needed, and what to do next.”
Parents can also get advice on common childhood illnesses can be found on the HANDi paediatric app and parents from Devon are being urged to download the app to access quick and convenient advice.
Many minor conditions and symptoms can be managed at home without seeking further advice. Visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk for a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help.
People who are visiting Devon and have a medical problem or need a prescription, your GP back home can help. They will be able to offer an appointment by telephone or online and can arrange a prescription, leaving you more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery we have here in Devon.
Mental health support
People are also being reminded that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis no longer needs to visit an Emergency Department for advice. Devon, Torbay and Plymouth mental health services provide a 24/7 First Response Service for anyone experiencing a crisis. The helpline offers expert mental health advice, support and signposting.
- Devon and Torbay – call 0808 196 8708
- Plymouth (18 years and over) – call 0800 923 9323
- Plymouth (under 18s) - call 01752 435122
Pharmacists are qualified experts in treating minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach upsets and aches and pains. If you need help you can find your nearest open pharmacy.
If you need urgent dental treatment during a weekend of bank holiday— the NHS is here for you. Call your dentist or use the NHS 111 online service. They will be able to arrange an appointment if it's necessary.