The SNP Government has opened a new NHS 24 call centre to help more people with non-urgent medical needs and further alleviate pressures on other parts of the NHS and social care.
This means that in non-life threatening situations, people should contact NHS 24 before attending Accident and Emergency or a Minor Injuries Unit.
With the demand from those becoming unwell with COVID-19, this has seen the 111 number move from an out-of-hours number to a round-the-clock service.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“With the current system pressures, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the role of NHS24 in giving support and advice to people who need it has never been more vital.
“Please make use of these services, by calling NHS24 at no cost on 111 or visiting NHS Inform when needed. Highly trained staff will be happy to give advice and direct you to the best place if you need treatment.
“The SNP Government has invested more than £20 million additional funding for NHS 24 this year All of this builds on the work undertaken as part of our £300 million investment in health and care services as part of our winter preparations.”
NHS 24 Chief Executive Jim Miller said:
“NHS 24 has played a crucial role in Scotland’s response to the pandemic and our expansion in Dundee will ensure we are enable to continue to provide high quality, safe and effective care to public in the months and years ahead.
“Call handlers, nurses, psychological mental health practitioners and mental health nurses are already working in this key contact centre delivering care. I expect it to be at full capacity by the end of March.”
The NHS 24 111 service provides urgent-care telephone advice day or night if you think you need A&E but it is not life threatening, as well as support when GP practices or dentist are closed.
Mental health support is provided 24/7 via the Mental Health Hub and through Breathing Space at evenings and weekends and help and advice can also be found at NHS inform.