The local NHS is asking the public to help the NHS and people with life-threatening conditions this winter by choosing the right health service for their illness or injury.

Winter, and the build up to the festive season is a busy time of year and it is very easy, when you are ill or dealing with someone who is ill to call the number everyone remembers: 999, but there is a very important alternative with NHS 111.

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
The simple rules are call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

GP practices across Kirklees are offering extra appointments over the coming months to support additional capacity in primary care and help reduce demand on A&E during the busy winter period. There’s more information about our primary care winter access scheme on the winter health page here.

By using services appropriately, it means that the ambulance service and A&E are then free to deal with the more serious life threatening conditions more quickly and effectively. One day that might be you!

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Leader of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said:

“The vast majority of medical conditions do not need emergency care. There are a range of services which are easy-to-access that can help people get the right care at the right time.

“Making the right decision will not only help people get treated in the most appropriate way quickly, but it also means our health service’s resources are being used in the most effective way.”

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said:

“Remember call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk and only go to A&E in a genuine life-threatening emergency. A guide to which NHS services are available and when you should use them can be found on the NHS Choices website.”

At the first sign of a cough or a cold get help from your pharmacist before it gets more serious and make sure you speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock to help get you and your family through the winter season.

With less than a month until Christmas, the NHS is also appealing to parents to take up the free flu vaccination for children to curb infection over the holiday season when family get-togethers spread the infection, putting grandparents and other vulnerable relatives at risk. You can find out more here.