Patients Urged To Use Local Number As New NHS 111 Launch Date Announced

St Mary's Health Centre

St Mary’s Health Centre

A new non-emergency medical phone service is being extended to Scilly and Cornwall, almost a year after it should have gone live.

From February 4th, NHS 111 will be operated by the ambulance service for the islands, SWAST.

They already have a contract for taking calls and advising on non life threatening conditions in Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The number will work from the islands, but Scilly’s lead GP John Garman says they won’t be promoting it here.

John says that our unique geography means that local clinicians, rather than call centre staff on the mainland, are better placed to tailor a response to the needs of patients.

He says that the islands’ GP practice is working with NHS111 to make sure that calls they receive will be acted on in the same way as they would on the mainland.

But Dr Garman is urging residents and visitors to continue to use the local number 422628.

Calls will then be put through to one of the hospital nurses.

In March last year, councillors were told that around 650 calls were placed each year to the former NHS Direct service and that’s viewed as a “small” number.