|A top south west London GP has joined the national call for the public to use NHS 111 online to get urgent medical advice ahead of what England’s medical director says will be a “winter like no other”.|
The NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign uses TV adverts, social media posts and billboards to promote the online service, which provides advice and support to patients with an urgent but not life-threatening medical issues.
Patients should continue to come forward for care and are still being encouraged to speak to a pharmacist, GP or call 111 if they need urgent advice.
NHS 111 online can direct patients to urgent treatment centres and walk in clinics, GP surgeries, pharmacies and emergency dental services and, if needed, a call from a healthcare professional.
With more people predicted to suffer from flu this year and hospitals already treating an increased number of Covid-19 patients, NHS 111 online offers an alternative way to get immediate medical advice.
Dr Andrew Murray, Merton GP and Clinical Chair at NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The NHS is very much here for you and your family.
“If you’re not sure which service to use and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, visit NHS online. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be accessed at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 for free from mobiles and landlines.
“Please continue coming forward for care, whether that’s through 111 online, your local pharmacy or your GP, and of course I would urge everyone eligible to get their life-saving Covid-19 and flu jabs to ensure the best possible protection for winter.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “As we approach an extremely tough winter like no other, using NHS 111 online first will ensure everyone who needs medical advice can access it quickly and conveniently, alongside other services, while allowing us to care for the most seriously ill and injured patients in our A&Es.”
People use the online 111 service for a range of reasons, including to check their symptoms and if an injury or illness requires further investigation, to get information on mental health support services available, or to seek advice on how to take a medication.
The online tool can also advise whether a patient should contact their GP, visit a pharmacist or call 999, while if needed, people can receive a call from a healthcare professional.
This phase of the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign will run across a range of platforms, including television and social media, in an effort to increase public knowledge of the NHS 111 online service.
The NHS is running the coronavirus booster campaign with more than 10 million people in England receiving their booster vaccine, and the largest ever flu campaign is also underway with tens of millions eligible for the flu jab free this winter.
To protect themselves and the NHS this winter, people should get their booster jab when invited to do so. More information about Covid-19 vaccinations in south west London, including boosters, can be found at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/covid/where-can-you-get-vaccinated/vaccination-walk-in-clinics/.
Press Office SWL CCG
South West London CCG