Need emergency health advice? Make NHS 111 your first port of call

People in Northamptonshire who require emergency medical assistance this winter are urged to call NHS 111 for fast and free advice.

There are many ways to access medical treatment in an emergency, but NHS 111 saves patients both time and anxiety by telling them the best place to go. There's no need to sit and wait in A&E, nor worry that your GP practice is closed or its appointments fully booked.

The NHS 111 service is free to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The line is staffed by highly trained advisers and supported by experienced clinicians, who are equipped to assess symptoms and direct patients to the most appropriate local services. The team is also able to book urgent appointments to see a doctor.

Dr Darin Seiger, a local GP and chair of Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“We know how stressful it is if you or a family member becomes unwell and we are really keen to make sure that you choose the right service for your needs. NHS 111 will help you get the right treatment, fast.

“Calling NHS 111 is one way to access expert medical advice quickly, and also keeps our doctors and nurses in A&E free to treat those with serious or life-threatening health problems which require urgent and specialist treatment. It can also help suggest ways that pharmacists and self-care measures can help you get better.

"Our GP practices are also using care navigation, where the reception staff will seek permission to ask you some more questions about your issue so that they can suggest the best service for your needs.”

Find out more about NHS 111 at NHS Choices.

Alongside NHS 111, people in Northamptonshire requiring health services over the winter period have a number of other options:

  • Pharmacy: Many common illnesses such as coughs and colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy – and you can speak to them without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. There are a number of pharmacies open in Northamptonshire over the winter period and a full list is continually updated on the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group website:
  • Self-care: A well-stocked medical cabinet can help you deal with minor accidents and injuries at home. Items can be bought from a local pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription and might include: painkillers, cold and flu remedies, anti-diarrhoeal medicine and a first aid kit. Parents should also have a stick of liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen, and an oral rehydration solution suitable for your child's age. If you have any questions or would like advice on what medicines to buy, please ask your local pharmacist.
  • The best way to tackle ill health is to avoid it in the first place. Making small changes to your lifestyle, such as by staying active or making healthy food choices, can make a big difference to your future health. For more information and advice, visit