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New non-emergency medical phone number

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 04, 2013

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A NEW non-emergency medical phone number will be launched in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly next year – eight months after it was "delayed indefinitely". From February 4, 2014, the NHS 111 service will be provided by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), which already runs the service in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. NHS 111 is designed to make it easier for people to get access to local urgent healthcare, while taking pressure off the 999 service and the emergency department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, leaving staff to focus on life-threatening emergency cases. Dr Andy Haywood, NHS Kernow's clinical lead for NHS 111, said: "This simple, free-to-call, easy-to-remember number will make it easier for people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to access round-the-clock urgent care, no matter where they are. If you're worried about your child who is ill, have a new rash, or are concerned about or need health advice, call 111 to speak to the team who will assess and help you straight away." The number will replace NHS Direct's 0845 4647 service and should be called if medical help is needed fast but the case is not a 999 emergency.

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