County 111 NHS number trial goes national

The new 111 NHS service, which has been on trial in Lincolnshire, will now be rolled out to the rest of the UK.

The news comes after approximately one year since launch, the service has helped over 95,000 people in the county, averaging 2,500 calls a week.

111 is a non-emergency number designed to help people choose what health service they need.

This means that 999 will not be clogged by people calling when they may only need to visit their GP or out-of-hours service.

According to an evaluation, 33% of callers needed a service such as a GP or out-of-hours, 10% needed an ambulance and 6% were told to visit A&E.

The survey also found that 76% of callers were happy with the service, and 88% would use it again.

The government have decided that the service will be rolled out to the rest of the UK by April 2013.

Chief executive for NHS Lincolnshire John McIvor said: “In a county as rural as Lincolnshire it’s important that our patients are able to get the right care first time and are treated in the most appropriate healthcare setting for their needs.

“There are times when people are unsure what to do or where to go for help, particularly when they have unexpected or urgent healthcare needs.

“NHS 111 assesses the caller’s needs and directs them to the best service for them whilst reducing unnecessary pressure on A and E and emergency services.”

Source: City of Lincoln Council