On Monday, November 22 residents in Lincolnshire can use a new telephone number to get access to the healthcare they need, without holding up 999 services.
As previously reported, the East Midlands was one of three regions in the UK that the NHS would be trialling the 111 emergency number.
The number will run alongside 999, and aims to give people quick access to urgent healthcare services, that are not life threatening or extremely serious.
After assessing the individual, they can then send the person to the correct NHS service they need first time.
Currently 25% of 999 calls are for problems that are not serious or life threatening, mainly because people did not know where to go in non-emergencies.
Chief Executive of NHS Lincolnshire John McIvor said: “To improve health services we need to make it easier for people to receive the right care, quickly and efficiently.
“The new 111 service aims to allocate the most appropriate treatment, depending on the patients’ needs, whilst reducing any unnecessary pressure on A&E and emergency services.”
NHS Direct will be the company in charge of handling local 111 calls.
Chief Executive of NHS Direct Nick Chapman said: “NHS Direct is delighted to be working with the other health organisations in the East Midlands to test how we can best deliver the new NHS 111 service there.
“The new, memorable number will make it easier for patients in the local area to access local health services.
“The service is being delivered by NHS Direct working very closely with local GPs from Nottingham Emergency Medical Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service, NHS Nottingham and NHS Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Community Health Services and the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.”
The trial of the new number will run for 12 months before a decision is made about pushing it to other areas in the UK.
Dr Ruth Livingstone, Clinical Lead for 111 said: “The number will not replace existing health service numbers, and wherever people know which number to call for the service they need they should continue to use it.
“For example, people should still call their normal GP surgery number to make routine appointments.”