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Plans unveiled for 111 to be used as urgent care telephone number

Proposals for a national telephone number for urgent but non-emergencycare have been put out for consultation by the communications industryregulator Ofcom

Proposals for a national telephone number for urgent but non-emergency care have been put out for consultation by the communications industry regulator Ofcom.

The three digit number – 111 – will not replace existing numbers for local services or NHS Direct but is expected to provide patients with an additional choice in how they access urgent care. In emergencies, 999 will remain the number to call.

Health minister Mike O’Brien said that patients have asked for clear advice on how to find healthcare when they do not need to go to accident and emergency.

If the consultation finds that a three-digit number should be allocated, pilot schemes will take place later in 2009.
Responses to the consultation, which closes on 20 August 2009, can be submitted via the Ofcom website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10970483

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