When To Use 111

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

Remember – call 999 if you have a life threatening emergency

Patient Information Leaflet:

Patient Information Leaflet

How Does It Work?

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you  to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

After Your Appointment

Your own GP gets full details of the consultation that you have had with Cumbria Health on Call. This is sent to them via the computer at 8 o’clock in the morning the next working day. If you do have any further on-going concerns or questions, your own GP will have all of the details and should be able to answer those questions for you.

If Your Condition Is Worsening

Please follow any advice given to you by the doctor/nurse who has seen you. If your condition is worsening or you feel you have developed new symptoms please call 111. If you have any doubts about the doctor’s advice please re-contact Cumbria Health on Call.

Helping Us To Help You

We would be grateful for you being considerate when using the emergency out of hours’ doctor service; we are here to meet the needs of patients who have urgent problems that require the attention of a doctor outside of normal surgery opening hours. Please consult your own doctor with routine medical problems as that then allows us to meet the needs of patients with urgent problems more quickly.

Home visiting can only be offered for the housebound, the terminally ill and those patients for whom travel would cause a worsening of their medical condition.

Finally, please do not visit one of our treatment centres without making an appointment first. Call 111 and you will be directed to the local service that can help you best.

Opening Times

We provide cover when your GP’s Practice is closed:

  • Monday to Friday 6.30pm until 8.00am
  • 24 hours throughout the weekend
  • Bank Holidays – including Easter, Christmas and New Year

Further Information

Using Typetalk or a Textphone

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can use the NHS 111 service through a textphone by calling 18001 111.

Calls are connected to the TextDirect system and the textphone will display messages to tell you what is happening. A typetalk relay assistant will automatically join the call. They will talk back what you’ve typed to the NHS 111 adviser and, in return, type back the adviser’s conversation so you can read it on your textphone’s display or computer.

Translation Service

There is also a confidential interpreter service, which is available in many languages. Simply mention the language you wish to use when the NHS 111 operator answers your call.


Please visit your local pharmacy when you are suffering from a common health problem that does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.

To locate the three nearest pharmacies to your location, people should simply text ‘Pharmacy’ to 64746 and they will receive three free texts listing the three nearest pharmacies and their address.

(This service uses the location of a person’s mobile phone to return relevant results. Please note that by using this service, you give consent for your mobile operator to release their location to the service provider for the provision of the service.)

Dental Care

If you are a registered patient you should contact your own dentist to organise treatment.

Unregistered patients if you require advice on an emergency dental problem call 01228 603900 if you are in north Cumbria, or 01539 716822 if you are in south Cumbria.

If you would like to register for an NHS dentist in Cumbria you need to register on NHS Cumbria’s dental database. You can do this by visiting www.cumbria.nhs.uk and clicking on the link from the homepage.

Repeat Prescriptions

Please make sure you order your repeat medications from your own GP well in advance so as to avoid running out at weekends/bank holidays.

Patients who have forgotten to order their repeat medications and then phone us about them take valuable doctor time away from those patients who really need our help and attention.

Temporary Residents

Should you be just visiting the area, but need a GP within normal surgery hours, please contact the nearest GP surgery to where you are staying. There is provision for you to be registered as a temporary resident at the surgery and be able to access appointments.

Cumbria Health Extended Access

The CHoC Extended Access service (CHEA) provides evening and weekend pre-bookable routine appointments with GPs, Nurses and Pharmacists in Cumbria, which makes it easier for you to get a routine appointment at a time that suits you. More information can be found here.

Self Referrals

Did you know that there are some free NHS health services you can access without needing an appointment with your GP? This is called self-referral and could help you find the care you need quicker and more easily than getting an appointment through your surgery or local extended access. Click on the appropriate form to download the latest version. Instructions on completing the form and where to send it are on the individual forms.


Physio Self-Referral (Carlisle)

Physio Self-Referral (Maryport)

Physio Self-Referral (Penrith)

Physio Self-Referral (Wigton)

Physio Self-Referral ( West)


Carlisle no longer accept self-referrals and must be actioned via the GP Practice.

Podiatry Referral (Penrith)