Think ‘NHS 111 first’ this bank holiday weekend

19th August 2022

Health and care services across Norfolk and Waveney are encouraging people to think about using NHS 111 first if they become injured or unwell this bank holiday weekend.

This comes ahead of the final bank holiday of the summer (27 – 29 August), and while services right across the NHS are extremely busy.

In Norfolk and Waveney, NHS 111 have answered nearly 20,000 calls over the school summer holidays already and are ready for another busy weekend.  

By going through NHS 111, people can quickly be directed to the best care tailored to their needs and can avoid unnecessary journeys or longer waits elsewhere in the system.

Trained NHS advisors can provide health advice, connect you to a healthcare professional, arrange a face-to-face appointment or give you an arrival time if you need to go to A&E.  They can even call an ambulance if needed, although if you do have a life-threatening emergency, please call 999 instead.

The service can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is completely free to call from a landline or mobile phone. You can also visit online.

Dr Frankie Swords, Medical Director at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “We know that it can be a bit overwhelming if you need help and you’re uncertain what to do. There are lots of different services available, so think of NHS 111 as the portal to your NHS. They are a highly skilled team, and have the most up-to-date, real time, local information.

“As children, we’re told to call 999 if there is a life-threatening emergency, but we need to remember 111 too these days – it’s the number and website to go to, for anything urgent or if you’re unsure what to do.

“No one wants to go to an emergency department unless they really need to, and no one wants to waste time make needless journeys or phoning lots of different places, so giving NHS 111 a call will make sure you get the help you need, as quickly as possible. You can then go back to enjoying the bank holiday weekend, whatever you might be getting up to!”

Chloe Lipscombe, a NHS 111 Health Advisor at Integrated Care 24 who run the service said: “If Norfolk and Waveney residents have an urgent medical problem over the bank holiday weekend we would encourage them to think NHS 111 first, and give us a call or go online. We are available 24/7 and can support patients to get the care they need with the right service to suit their concern.”

Other things to remember this bank holiday weekend

  1. Check your medicine cabinet. Check your medicine cabinet is stocked with basics like indigestion remedies, allergy medications, plasters and painkillers, so you can take care of minor problems with ease at home. Make sure that any repeat prescriptions have also been filled – you don’t want to run out over the long weekend.
  2. Look out for others. If you or a loved one needs urgent mental health help call NHS 111 and choose the mental health option (option 2).
  3. Remember self-care. Many childhood illnesses can be treated and managed at home and there’s lots of help and advice on the NHS Just One Norfolk website for children, young people and families.
  4. Visit a local pharmacy. Many pharmacies are open over bank holidays and can offer expert advice on common conditions such as colds, cuts and bruises, insect bites and many other minor ailments. Check their opening hours in advance.

If you or a loved one has a life-threatening medical condition such as choking, chest pains, severe bleeding, and are seriously unwell, please call 999 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.

For more information about where to go and helpful advice, visit: