What to do and where to go when you need urgent medical attention? Most people living in the UK will not hesitate to answer: “Dial 999”. Is it so? Will you get the help you need by calling this number?
What is NHS 111 Wales?
If you have to deal with a life-threatening situation, then calling 999 immediately is the only solution. The cause may be accidents, serious injuries, or, for example, a heart attack, stroke, difficulty breathing, etc. However, if the situation is not so critical and your GP does not have free office hours for the near future, then the most effective call will be telephone 111. The NHS 111 Wales telephone line was opened in 2013 and replaced the then existing NHS Direct service.
NHS 111 Wales is available 24/7 in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend; calls are free, and highly trained operators work with the support of nurses and primary care physicians. To diagnose the problem remotely during a telephone conversation, you will be asked some questions that will help the operators find an effective solution and offer you the most suitable medical service:
- refer you to a GP out of hours – from 18:30 to 8 am on weekdays and throughout the day on weekends, including banking;
- call an ambulance team;
- advise the most convenient item “walk-in services”;
- pick up an ambulance dental service;
- find the nearest pharmacy that works at a later time.
It is important to note that NHS 111 Wales will also be useful for those with small children. Not all “walk-in” centers have the ability to receive babies, and if you come directly to the “A&E department”, it is not known how much time you will have to spend waiting in line due to the overcrowding of these points. In this case, the NHS 111 Wales operators can advise you on the nearest therapist for the children and fix a “time of arrival” for you, which will save you a lot of time.
Until now, almost 4 years after the start of NHS 111 Wales, there is a problem that this service has not become widespread among the population, and most people, by inertia, continue to call 999 for reasons that are not related to emergency or medical and even more so to life-threatening. For example, a couple of years ago, the Scottish police recorded a call from a woman asking him to take her to the store for a new laptop, as her old one broke. Everything would be fine, and it might even be funny if such cases were isolated. 999 Emergency Service Operators listen to these “problems” several times a day. As a result, such calls significantly reduce the efficiency of the emergency service, and people who really need instant help “hang” on the line while the operator decides whether the wife does not give the remote control to her husband or the driving instructor is late for the appointed time.
There are publicly available statistics on how effective or ineffective the 999 emergency service is. One quality measure is the speed at which an agent answers an emergency call. The criterion was chosen that 75% of such requests should be answered within 8 minutes, but this standard was last met in January 2014. These data cease to be mere statistics when we come across it personally.
It is absolutely clear that when a person needs urgent medical care, the only thing he thinks about is how to get this very help in the shortest possible time. Do not overestimate the situation and run to call 999 for any ailment. NHS 111 Wales operators can be more helpful in situations where your life is not in danger or you simply don’t know which NHS service you need. A clear delineation of 999 and NHS 111 Wales services and their correct use will not only prove more effective for the applicant, it will also help save more lives.
Tags: emergence, healthcare, help, medicine, phone