A NEW number for healthcare needs has been officially launched.
NHS 111 is to be used for fast medical help that’s not a 999 emergency.
The service is free from mobiles and landlines and is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year.
The five-year contract, costing £20m, is being run by South Central Ambulance Service in the Portsmouth area.
A call handler will ask the patient ringing in a series of questions about their symptoms.
At the end they will be advised which service would be best placed to help, send an ambulance, or advised to self-treat at home if appropriate.