Keep Calm and Call 111!

No need to panic if you have a minor injury or ailment

'Keep calm and call NHS 111' when you need urgent health care this winter.

That's the message from the NHS in the North East as health care services prepare for the busiest time of the year.

People can play their part in ensuring services are used appropriately by 'Keeping Calm' and thinking about the right service for them this winter.

NHS 111 is the new, urgent health care service for when you need help fast, but it's not a 999 emergency.

Using the NHS 111 service will free up valuable resources in the North East's A&E departments for those people who are most seriously ill.

The NHS 111 has successfully been running in the North East since August 2010, when it was piloted in the County Durham and Darlington area.

NHS 111 is run by the North East Ambulance Service and is staffed by the same, highly trained call handlers who deal with 999 emergencies.

NHS 111 will signpost you to the most appropriate service, first time and is available 24/7, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.

Paul Liversidge, NEAS Director of Operations, said: "By 'Keeping Calm and calling NHS 111' North Easterners can ensure that our busy A&E departments are able to focus their resources on those people who are most seriously ill.

"The North East is one of the highest performing areas in the country for the NHS 111 service and was one of the first pilot areas when the service was introduced in 2010.

"When you call NHS 111, you will speak to the same highly trained call handlers who deal with 999 emergencies and directed to the most appropriate service to meet your needs, first time."

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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