Talk before you walk
People in County Durham and Darlington can now find the best form of care before visiting a hospital
As an emergency service NEAS needs to make sure that patients in
a life-threatening situation get an ambulance as quickly as
That's why calls to 999 asking for an ambulance are prioritised
on a patient's clinical needs.
If you live in County Durham or Darlington have have an injury
or ailment which isn't critical, call 111.
NHS 111 was launched just over a year ago and is helping us keep
ambulances available for those who need them the most.
During the next couple of weeks all County Durham and Darlington
residents will receive a leaflet through their letterboxes
encouraging them to use the service.
When you call 111 your needs will be assessed and you'll
quickly be directed to the service that can best meet your
If your 111 call turns out to be
an emergency, you will still get an ambulance.
Berenice Groves, Programme Director NHS 111 Service North East
said: 'People are often confused by the number and type of
healthcare services available to them locally.
"NHS 111 is designed to simplify the decision making process. By
encouraging people to talk to us before they set off we aim to
ensure patients are re-assured and then directed to those services
that are closest to them and which can best meet their healthcare
"We hope that by making sure patients access the most
appropriate service in the shortest possible time we will be able
to deliver a positive patient experience and higher levels of
While NHS 111 service is currently only available across the
County Durham and Darlington area, it will be rolled out over
the North East area by April 2013.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a
year and all calls from landlines and mobiles are free.