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NHS general practitioners (GPs)

Out-of-hours services

The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that's convenient for you.

Outside normal surgery hours you can still phone your GP surgery, but you'll usually be directed to an out-of-hours service. The out-of-hours period is from 6.30pm to 8.00am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.

If it is not an immediate emergency then call NHS 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can provide medical advice and details of the best local service that can provide care. Telephone consultations and triage (an assessment of how urgent your medical problem is) are an important part of all out-of-hours care.

GPs can choose whether to provide 24-hour care for their patients or to transfer responsibility for out-of-hours services to the relevant NHS England Area Team.

Area Teams are responsible for providing a high-quality service for the local population. Some Area Teams provide care themselves. Others provide care through external organisations. This means different areas can have slightly different services.

Types of out-of-hours care

Out-of-hours cover may include some or all of the services below:

  • GPs working in A&E departments or minor injuries units (MIUs)
  • teams of healthcare professionals working in primary care centres, A&E departments, MIUs, urgent care centres or NHS walk-in centres
  • healthcare professionals (other than doctors) making home visits, following a detailed clinical assessment
  • ambulance services moving patients to places where they can be seen by a doctor or nurse, to reduce the need for home visits

You can also visit an NHS walk-in centre (WiC), urgent care centre (UCC) or minor injuries units (MIUs). These can provide treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes. They have proved to be a successful complementary service to traditional GP and A&E services. Some NHS WiCs offer access to doctors as well as nurses. However, they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems. You don't need to be registered and you don't need an appointment. Any member of the public can simply walk in to be seen, regardless of where they are registered. Some offer pre-booked appointments.


The 71 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Sgeb73 said on 28 October 2015

Called at about 10pm last night as i had severe visual impairment and had done for three hours previously. The operator said someone would call me shortly. Didn't get a call till 2.30 am,over four hours after i had called and i had got medical help myself. An apology would be irrelevant. This service is not run properly,people need to go back to before when you could speak to a proper doctor,someone work8ng from a checklist cannot give correct specific advice and to expect someone to wait four hours for a phone call is unacceptable.

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JasmoneTalc said on 16 August 2015

I am very concerned and worried about this service this is the second time that I have tried to get help. The first was about a year ago when my husband was having frequent seizures, which were not his normal type and going on far to long and so I rang 111 for advice. The doctor/Nurse wanted to speak to him I explained he was not coherent but they insisted. They then informed me that he had spoken t o them, he suffers with epilepsy, it has been diagnosed and is on medication we cannot do any more. Well thanks I just need a bit of help and reassurance. Today I have had the misfortune to ring again and yes re epilepsy and seizures out of control also suspect dehydrated. Guess what they are far to busy today and I should look up symptons on website. This was a recorded message. Guess I will just slowly go insane then without any help. Disgruntled.

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Iz1979 said on 05 July 2015

The 111 service is a complete waste of money and time. Phoned this morning, asked for the nurse to call me back on my mobile number (given to the call handler) waited and waited, no phone call, when I arrived home the nurse had called the landline.
When I did eventually manage to speak to the nurse, (not sure they really were) I could hardly understand them. The nurse repeatedly called me by the wrong name, they called me Margaret, my name is Elizabeth, not even close. The nurse clearly didn't listen as they recommended remedies that I had told them weren't working, their response, just keep doing it. The nurse put me on hold several times to consult with their colleague, I assume they were training, I know people have to learn but they clearly needed more training before a live patient. This service is so poor on many levels, they don't listen, they aren't well trained, NHS money would be far better spent getting GP surgery's back open on a weekend.

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zia14 said on 06 June 2015

I have just called NHS111 to ask advice about how I get my blood group as my GP does not have this information.

I was advised to go to a walking centre (maybe a walk in centre) or speak to my GP.

Clearly they did not listen to my opening statement.
Walk in centre would not be able to - poor service all round

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Fallfromgrace said on 26 May 2015

We were told by our doctor and the sister at the Memory Clinic if my mother got really bad with her dementia we could get a doctor straight away to see her and give her something to calm her down. Bank Holiday Monday totally ruined as had to wait for 111 to phone us back. 3 Phone calls for 15 mins at a time. In the end said they were sending a doctor out after 4 hours, no doctor turned up.
Anything could've happened - she has a bad heart.
Rubbish service.

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sarniegeneration said on 03 May 2015

There's so much bad press for the 111 service but after having called them last night ( a Saturday evening of a bank holiday weekend) regarding my 86 year old mother, I have nothing but gratitude & thanks for them.
The operator I initially spoke to was careful in detailing the info I gave him, asked very relevant questions and checked with a colleague on the required follow up. He was professional and helpful as well as sympathetic.
Within minutes of hanging up I had a call back from a nurse practitioner. She would have made an appt for me to take my mother to a hospital but as my mother's mobility is almost non-existent she scrapped that idea and arranged for a call out. She warned me that she didn't know what the out of hours docs workload would be like and that we might have to wait - and if my mother got any worse meantime to ring 999.
Yes, we did have to wait a while (but as the area covered by the doc extends from Skegness to Sutton Bridge and all over in between this isn't surprising) but the doctor duly arrived, with a nurse practitioner, thoroughly examined my mother, prescribed meds - which they had with them! - and gave me further instructions regarding her care, before leaving to travel over 30 miles to their next call.
The whole set up was brilliant, thank you very much to all concerned - I wish I could thank them personally.
Just give them more staff whoever wins the next election!!!!!

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gervasef said on 25 April 2015

?? Out of hours 111 service. How long is the recording taken
of conversations with the medical adviser kept?
We may need a copy of this for legal reasons.
How can we access this. The date is known and appoximate

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antmccarthy said on 11 April 2015

Why can't we get an emergency doctor to call to our homes any more?
Last weekend my wife called 111 on behalf of me as I was too sick to get to the phone with chest pains and shortness of breath. The operator wouldn't deal with my wife and insisted on speaking with me. When I got to the phone I was asked a load of pointless questions, during which I got sick and ended up on the floor. The operator told me to wait until somebody form our local NHS out of hours care centre called back. After 3 hours they called back and told me to make my way to our local care centre (8 miles away) for an appointment.

When I arrived at the care centre I had a very quick check by the "so called" doctor who told me my chest was clear however said they would prescribe me some antibiotics, even though they wouldn't or couldn't tell me what was wrong with me.
Struggled home to bed. The next morning with worse chest pains I headed to A&E and was admitted to hospital with Pneumonia.

The hospital was excellent. Unfortunately everything else including 111 and the Out of hours care centre was a disaster. I'm sure a visit by a doctor to our home would have been must better, this is something that was the norm in the past but seems to have been done away with.

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hfdgn said on 14 March 2015

I had the misfortune of falling ill at the weekend, when my GP surgery was closed. It was not a life-or-death situation - so not appropriate to go to A&E - but was certainly very unwell & in need of treatment . In years gone by would have had access to the on-call doctor from my own GP surgery. This service no longer available, so phoned 111. Found the service very time consuming and terribly inefficient. I object to my time being wasted and I also object to NHS funds being squandered on a service that is this inefficient.

It is not reasonable to expect patients to accept sub-par care simply because they have the misfortune to fall ill on a weekend.

Surely the money being wasted on 111 service would be better spent on providing improved access to GPs at weekends.

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Fouzia2303 said on 03 February 2015

Very impressed!! Called on behalf of my mother who had chest pains and perpetration.. Spoke to a very helpful lady who kept me calm and listened.. They dispatched an Ambulance and the crew arrived within minutes.

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donna_griff said on 18 January 2015

Well after phoning the out if hours doctor last night regarding my 7 month old daughter I am definitely unimpressed with the service. After being on hold for well very 10 minutes to speak to the help line, I was told to wait for the doctor to call. The call took over an hour to come, to then speak to an arrogant man who gave us an appointment for 20 to 11 at night. Considering it was for a 7 month old I wasn't too happy but begrudgingly accepted the appointment. I waited for over 3 hours with an upset, distressed and very ill baby until 20 past 11 for the doctor NOT TO SHOW UP! I was hoping I had made a mistake and he would be here the following day (today) but again no body has visited my daughter. What a joke of a service, next time I have an issue regarding my 7 month old I will be taking her to A & E rather than waste my time with out of hours

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Elbowcrutch said on 06 January 2015

Similar experience December 28 2014. No answer from 111 for over half an hour but annoyingly cut off every 10 mins 40 seconds. Why?
We gave up. Fortunately the online symptom checker did work (slowly) and told us to go to A&E which was all we wanted to know.

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Vol75 said on 04 January 2015

Our elderly next door neighbour, who lives alone, contacted us stating that she had back pains and could not get out of bed We did a quick assessment and as it was a Saturday we rang 111 on her behalf and their response was excellent. The adviser made an appointment at Highfield our local emergency out of hours service and I was able to take her there to be assessed by a Doctor within 2 hours of my contact with 111.
A prescription was issued and our neighbour advised to follow up with her GP if any further problems.
We hear of complaints regarding 111 based on hearsay but we wish to record that the response was excellent and if Patients used this service sensibly there would be less strain on our Hospital A&E Dept.

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AndyBrown1965 said on 28 December 2014

My 78 year old mum rang at approximately 8:45 for my 84 year old dad. Told to expect contact from a doctor in two hours. 3:15 later we called again. In fact we called 7 times over the next 1 hr and 20 mins. After ten minutes 40 you are automatically cut off. My is mum is very distressed my dad is in a lot of pain. We are now left with no choice but to ring an ambulance. This is an appalling service of no use to man nor beast. Direct contradiction of what the website says, 'a fast service! Save the time and go straight to A&E or call an ambulance

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travdom said on 27 December 2014

Have called 8 Times today been on hold for no less than 10 minutes each Time and then get cut off. Appalling

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Jackochelle80 said on 27 December 2014

I rang 111 on Friday 26/12/2014 (Boxing Day) after asthma symptoms following a bad cold and ? Chest infection. I rang at 9.50 am and spoke to lady who read the script very well and said someone would call me back within two hours and to take paracetamol or ibruprofen in the meantime (I'm asthmatic unable to take ibruprofen . Any way and 12.30 I had not received a call so phoned back explained my symptoms were worse, were put on hold and asked to attend A&E as there weren't a GP surgery running at the hospital so unable to make me appointment !!! So I then went onto Airedale General Hospital arriving at 1.15 finally leaving at 7.45 after two treatments on the nebuliser and antibiotics and steroids which is what I know I needed. The staff were doing great at A&E, they said it was more like a walk in centre then and accident and emergency department . GP services need to do more and roll out a better GP out of service department which I have used many of times when having an asthma attack over the years and have never had a problem with. Also 111 need to check the information at the first instance as if I had been made aware that there were no surgery running I could have been sorted out much quicker and gone to accident and emergency earlier in the day.

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Tayla j t said on 23 December 2014

This service has been terrible to me, firstly back in September I called about my son who was 5-6 weeks old that he had a high temperature and was shaking and also making a weird cry and they said he was fine. Anyway the next day it got worse so I went to a&e and he was admitted for 6 days with a severe urine infection and he has been on medication since. Tonight, I had a pain in my left arm with also numbness and dizziness. I called them at 10 which they said a doctor will be with you in 2 hours so I got a call at 11 from an out of hours doctor saying he will be with me shortly. It got to 12:30am and still no sign, so I called back and they said they had no history of someone calling me at all, and after being on hold for 10 minutes they said I was in a queue and being seen in the next 4 hours? Obviously not too worried, I gave up and now sitting here with the pain, with no transport to get to hospital. Thanks 111.

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AlanL said on 18 December 2014

My partner and I have phoned the out of hours service on 2 different occasion's regarding my 2year old son, on both occasion's we required a doctor to visit our home to diagnose/treat him, one was during the early hours of the morning around 2am..... On these occasion's we have had no transport options an have been declined a home visit and no alternate option's to have our son looked at. On the 2nd occasion they even terminated the call because i questioned the fact they wanted me to travel over 3-4mile with a sick child in bad weather with no form on transport, yet they could have easily made a home visit. How is this service of any use to anyone who dont have 24/7 transport or finances for taxi's etc...? Also what sort of medical professional would ask for a sick child to be brought out in bad weather to receive diagnoses/treatment when an alternative option is available? Really disappointed with the on-call/out of hours service, when did it become a policy to have to treat children in the surgery and not make a home visit??

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rossi1 said on 23 November 2014

After contacting this service twice in one week I am very impressed with the professional and speedy response to my calls. In the case of my son he was seen and treated within one hour of making the call. I experienced excellent service. Well done.

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alexchung said on 23 November 2014

I am very impressed by this service. The woman on the phone was very helpful and calming, the out of hours GP rang almost immediately after issues were reported and able to prescribe me antibiotics to collect immediately.

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rossi1 said on 23 November 2014

I m really impressed after contacting 111 service re my 20 month son. I received a call back within 5 minutes and he was seen at an out of hhours service within an hour and on treatment. Well done.

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Jody1984 said on 19 November 2014

What a joke I was transferred from gp at 6.15pm told I'd get a call back but nothing within 45 mins so I rang again at 7.00pm to be told that the call had not even been logged in the system so I had to do it again. So I waited again till 9.15pm still no call. So I rang for a third time to be told I was on a 6hr list but as my symtoms are worse they would put me on a 2hr one. What a joke. Anyway it's now 12.33am of the next day and here I am still waiting for the doctor to call from 6.15pm the night before. What is this world coming to. It's an absolute joke this service. Who other than 999 can help.....!

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Helllen said on 14 November 2014

I am leaving this message in the sincere hope that it will be considered as being helpful by the national body that oversees GP out-of-hours telephone services.

You need to train your telephone operatives better.

The woman to whom I spoke today was rude, patronising and gave every impression of following a script instead of responding to another human being. I screamed for attention and (because that usually works) got passed on to a supervisor, who was far more competent. That's not a good thing to encourage.This is a management issue and one that urgently needs fixing. So please fix it!

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Emm74 said on 01 November 2014

Just phone up about my 18 month old, with high temp and unwell, after going through the question which I think are not designed for Children, got told Dr will call within 6 hours. This this is disgusting when it is young children.

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Kat7689 said on 01 November 2014

Yesterday evening a passed out twice through mental exhaustion and malnutrition. The severity of my case won't fit in here, however I presented at A & E, because I knew I couldn't trust myself to be alone. I was told that I wasn't an emergency and the assessor was extremely rude, (especially because I was very vulnerable by this stage). I phoned 111 and was unable to be assessed due to my roaming location i.e. from hospital to home. I tried crisis when I got home and all I got voicemail.
I would highlight that at this point there was risk of overdose. There was no-one at home and I was extremely vulnerable.

I followed my difficulties up with 111 today, because I was worried about the situation deteriorating given the reason for the exhaustion not likely to go away any time soon.
111 were helpful. The GP was blunt, unsympathetic and completely lacking knowledge. Had I said I had a cold, I think she would have listened.

I find it hard to mention what I actually did. It wasn't a minor injury, it was a definite risk. I have lost all faith in the health service, and if things do get worse, I don't know where I can get help now.

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Foremac said on 12 October 2014

I am pleasantly surprised: the telephone consultation was quick and friendly - thank you.

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Red_Kez said on 04 October 2014

I have a poorly 10 year old. We rung 111 at approx 6:45pm and was told she would need to be seen by a doctor so someone will ring us back within the hour with a time to take her to the out of hours surgery. At 9:15pm we rung again to ask why we had not had a call back. We was told they are trying to contact the doctor on call. They confirmed they had the correct contact number for call back and again we was told call back will be soon. Well it's now 10:50pm and we are still waiting for a call back. I'm glad it's not life threatening........ Good old out of hours fails again.

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Greenteaaddict said on 12 September 2014

After a 15 minute conversation asking irrelevant questions. Could I breathe? Was I bleeding? I was told to go to my GP tomorrow. My face on one side is massively swollen and really uncomfortable. I am sitting here with a hot water bottle to try and ease the discomfort. Flatly refused to allow me to speak to the doctor, very patronising man who I didn't get his name unfortunately. I don't call this a service! If this gets any worse I am going to a&e. Thanks nhs 111

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Sammack said on 11 September 2014

I just wanted to say thank you to all the health team tonight, in Halifax, my grandad has had great care from the out of hours district nurses, out of hours and Gp and is now settled in hospital.
Although he's still in the same condition it's great knowing that there's people that care and will act quickly when they need to!
The relief I feel now he's there and getting the right treatment is immense.

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User901063 said on 04 September 2014

rang 111 at 10pm told me i would get a call back within 2 hours and im still waiting now at 2am

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Covers said on 03 August 2014

Just rang 111for advice for my 77yr old disabled mum, after a Long conversation of many irrelevant questions and answers told a call back within 12hrs. Rang back a short time after, went through lots of the same then told it will be 11/12hrs and don't ring back unless urgent!!!!!! Has anyone else had to wait this long???? Was told doc would not visit unless "dying or disabled" Sorry have I not just explained ALL my mums disabilities and illnesses. God help this country..... A & E here we come.

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Peggie19 said on 20 July 2014

Thankyou so much for the excellent service I received yesterday. The young man I spoke to was reassuring and competent. Yes he has to ask a lot of questions but I realise these are necessary. My call was answered very quickly and the Dr phoned me back within half an hour. My problem was dealt with very well. Thankyou

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Susan Dexter said on 14 July 2014

I would like to thank the 3 young women paramedics who treated my Mum last night before taking us to hospital. You were amazing. knowledgeable, kind, attentive and sensitive. My Mum was treated with dignity and I was fully informed of everything that was happening and what the technical readouts etc. meant. All I know is that they were from Waterloo. They disappeared before I could say 'Thank You'. When I praised then for being such wonderful people, their response was that were the lucky ones.... our NHS system may be under fire a lot but these wonderful people are a tribute to that system.... Thank YOU....

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Emme14 said on 31 May 2014

Brilliant! Initial receptionist was kind and tried to make an appointment, but couldn't as it was outside 2 hour window. I didn't mind as long as I could be seen, but had to be passed around a bit until the timing was right. Three phone calls back, all within the time stated, and everyone was apologetic and professional. I have an appointment where I can get to easily, for later this morning. Thank you.

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South999 said on 30 May 2014

Bank Holiday Monday after 24 hours in pain rang 111 in the early hours of the morning. Spoke to a person who was extremely patient as I had to keep putting the phone down every few minutes due to extreme dental pain. He was very reassuring and arranged for nurse to ring me. The nurse rang back within the specified time and was very professional and patient asking relevant questions making sure I had not exceeded limits on pain medication. Suitable advise given reference continued pain medication, signposted to emergency dental service providing me with contact numbers and opening time. She also arranged for on call GP to ring me to double check certain symptoms I had described. Rang emergency dental service as soon as they opened and got an appointment that day near to my home address and prescribed antibiotics straight away. Never been so relieved after 24 hours of no sleep. Overall I would rate the service I received as excellent.

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thepixiegirl said on 27 May 2014

I called yesterday evening and was told I would receive a call back within the hour. Two hours later I received a phone call informing me that I was still in the queue, and that they would get back to me shortly. Six and a half hours after my initial call, I received a call from someone (not a doctor) telling me I could either take a cancellation appointment in 40 minutes, or the out-of-hours centre would be closed until the evening of the following day. Bearing in mind that the out-of-hours centre that they were referring me to was a good 45 minute drive from my house....
So I have still not seen a doctor. I have a probable kidney infection and urinary infection, and am in a lot of pain. I can't get an appointment to see my GP (also miles away) until three days' time. Thank you, NHS.

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Sibs03 said on 26 May 2014

Today i called 111 and although they have had really bad press i was really astonished how helpful and quick they were. The lady on the phone was clear and well spoken. She explained everything she asked and gave clear instructions.
I know people complain about the questions that seem irrelevant but it ensured nothing was over looked.
A gp called me and i was seen within an hour of my call.
I am already starting to feel better
As a nurse myself i am highly impressed and will be telling everyone.

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ermintrude50 said on 26 May 2014

Rang GP out of hours and was shunted through to 111. Nightmare. Very frustrating 12 minute call being asked all sorts of irrelevant questions. Do you have stomach ache, No my leg hurts, do you have chest pains, No my leg hurts, do you have a headache, No........but I soon will have.

Finally after a lot of hassle they finally agreed to refer me to the out of hours GP, Said they would call back within an hour, more than 2.5 hours later the doctor called.

By that time I had given up gone to kocal minor injuries unit who were superb and referred me straight through to the out of hours doctor.

I rather object to an unqualified call handler and a computer deciding whether I an allowed to talk to a doctor.

We used to have a good system. You called and there was someone who took your details and a brief outline of the problem and then the doc rang you back normally within 15 minutes, One time there was a problem and the nurse rang back to say there was a problem and reaccess the urgently of the call, When the doctor called they would then decide on whether to give advice on the phone or offer an appointment. Which was a 25 minute drive away but then you were seen quite quickly.

System need sorting. Starting with some technology which picks up your phone number and calls up your record.

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Bennys Mummy said on 10 May 2014

Cannot fault our treatment. Arrived for appointment on time and was seen immediately. Doctor wonderful. In all we were on our way home within 15 minutes. 10 out of 10

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moonlightdrive said on 28 April 2014

Very upset, I have given birth only a few weeks ago, I am now having abdominal pain and feeling sick, symtons of child bed fever! I've already phoned 111, only to be told there's 1dr covering a large area and to go a&e, after the first person I spoke to told me to let the Dr know my situation that I can't get there due to it being nearly 11 at night, have small children, one of which has school in the morning and is fast asleep right now, and live near no family to have them, plus my baby cannot be left with anyone as she has certain medical issues that only myself and husband have been taught how to attend to, I cannot drag them to a&e all night, I was led to believe I would be seen at home, funny how after giving birth its drummed into u to watch for signs of infection and to seek medical help asap, I now have to wait tilb 8 in the morning to get a appointment at the drs surgery, in the meantime I will just have to be ill and pray the symtons don't get worse.

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Kd88 said on 13 April 2014

Absolutely disgusted with Ipswich out of hours! I had an appointment for my 7 year old son for 11.30pm as he seems to have an infection. When I get there the waiting room is packed and I am told there is a 2 hour wait?! Surely not as I booked an appointment, do they really expect a poorly child to sit up till half 1 in the morning?! Shocking! To top it off there were these really loud, disrespectful teenagers swearing and the receptionist did nothing, that did my sons ear the world of good! I was told by the receptionist that they had 1 doctor on duty! For a Saturday night I thought that ludicrous! I decided to take my son home and have given him more pain relief in the hope we have better luck next time. I asked for a complaint form and walked out as did several others!

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snakecharmer38 said on 12 April 2014

I rang 111 to get help for myself as my breathing is deteriorating, because of chronic lung disease.
Although the staff I spoke to was helpful in arranging an out of hours Doctor. The Doctor was terrible.
They refused to come out, stating they were 'extremely busy'. So they asked me to come to two different places for medical attention. Both of which are miles away. I don't drive and a taxi is out of the question.
Finally, they said there was little that could be done anyway, so whoever I saw would just admit me to hospital.

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lezlow111 said on 12 April 2014

well the doctor at out of hours service,was fantastic, he treated my condition with the right medicine, and now its nearly healed, but how i ended up there ,should be a lesson for my practice as it was not good. on the friday i,d completed my forst course of anti biotics,it had no effect on my would? i thought being a moderate, its saturday, is there a doctor available? leave it till monday, don,t want to bother? on moday, the receptionist persuaded me against my judgement and insisted that the doctor would phone me, ?unbeknowns to me,my phone was not recieving calls, so on tuesday i was panicking?again the reception, insisted me seeing a nurse,or getting doctor to call, me?i insisted on nseeing a gp,?i got an appointment from a doctor? but when i went in it was a sister, who said she could sort it, then satarted ringing,microbiolagists to find out what to give me, i walked out and insisted the reception get me to a doctor, i,d been sweaty all day, didn,t recognise,?it was a sympton, my would was twice the size? i left surgery ,no satisfaction, went home cold cold bath and sprayed cold water on wound that seemed to work, i awoke at 10pm, horrified ?it was swelling and i was getting blurry vision, my partner called the out of hours doctor and i had an appointment at 11pm, they calmed me gave me medicine and reassured me, it would not become an ulcer,like the sister had said?

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Trekkiegirl said on 12 April 2014

Excellent service. Used 111 twice in the last two days, first time I got an appointment with the out of hours GP at the MIU, and was seen on time. Today, the doctor phoned back within 15 minutes, and came out to see me at home within an hour and a half. The staff were at all times pleasant and polite. Can't fault it at all. :)

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Greybags said on 12 April 2014

To continue......

Eventually i was advised to phone 999 and the paramedic was on scene within 10 minutes, he did the usual checks, decided my dear old mum did not need to go to hospital, but he did more than a GP would do.
So one branch of the NHS is good but the OOH service is not fit for purpose

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Greybags said on 12 April 2014

You say " NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time":
This is just not true.. i have a 93 year old mother whom i care for ad recently she was "poorly and in pain" during the night.

As GPs don't have an out of hours service I had to contact 111 who were rude, patronising and the 'telephone advisors' have no medical experience or knowledge. I had 10 minutes of questions, some which were irrelvant and was told to ring back if urgent or pain gets worse. Big mistake, when I did phone back they had no knowledge of my previous call and i had to go through it all again.
Eventually I received a call from a duty doctor who made it oobvious that he was not going to respond.
I am disgusted at the level of service.

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malcolm123 said on 06 April 2014

Used the 111 service for the first time and pleased to rate it 100%.

Nurse phoned me back promptly and arranged for a doctor to contact me who then arranged a Sunday appointment at a nearby out-of-hours department set up in St. Marks Hospital.

GP saw me close to the appointed time, diagnosed my problem and issued a prescription.

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Linda0000 said on 06 April 2014

Utterly useless. Have now been waiting nearly 3 hours for a doctor to call regarding my disabled 95 year old father, who is crying out with pain. What a Godforsaken NHS we have now.

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0532kaz said on 23 March 2014

Needed reassurance that i'm doing the right thing for my child and to ask if I should take her into the doctors surgery in the morning as I think she has tonsillitis and I don't want to infect anyone else or is it better to have someone come out to her..
After several questions, I told her my child has vomited twice, had a temperature average of 39 (highest 40 lowest 38) throughout the day, has pain when swallowing, not eaten anything and is hot and clammy. She asked me to look in my childs mouth to see if there were any white marks, I said I couldn't see any.

She asked me "do you have the light on?" !!!!

She said a gp will call me back within 6 hours, this is at nearly 11 at night. I explained I need to sleep I have a sick child to look after. I would ring my own gp in the morning and she hung up on me.
Nice caring service nhs -NOT!

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4102 said on 17 March 2014

Relative caught an infection following daycase surgery and was put on myriad of medication. Experienced nausea, light headedness, pain etc. Phoned 111 for advice who informed someone would phone back within 1 to 2 hours. Still waiting 3 days later!! Absolutely disgraceful. And the Gove wonder why A&E attendances have increased.

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Lollie2004 said on 16 March 2014

My husband phoned the 111 service in the early hours of Sat Morning.
I had been vomiting all night and couldn't even keep the dioralyte down.
I was asked a few irrelevant questions but was told I would be phoned by a Dr who phoned within the time I was given.
The Dr gave me two options one to go to the out of hours surgery or get someone to pick up a prescription. I was dehydrating and can't fault the service I received.
The only fault with the 111 service I was told not to drink anything and take paracetamol I couldn't keep water down so taking tablets was pointless and to be advised not to drink anything when dehydrating is irresponsible in my view.

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Hanaspace6 said on 10 March 2014

What a complete waste of time, wanted an out of hours appointment to check my arm after being bitten by a dog. 3 hours and still waiting, completely ruins the evening and having to chase them to find out what is going on it's stupid!

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User4997 said on 09 March 2014

Completely satisfied - rang 111 at 9am on a Sunday for my 11 year old unwell daughter. Was assessed by phone and advised to have an appointment to see a doctor. Called back by the out of hours service within 15 mins and offered an appointment in an hour and a half. Location was described and I was asked if it was suitable. Staff were courteous and we were seen within minutes. Thorough examination and diagnoses explained, prescription written.

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petesomerset said on 26 January 2014

It worked well for me. I phoned late Sunday morning and was offered a choice of appointments that afternoon. I was seen within one hour of making the call.

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Daveuk said on 28 December 2013

Just been told at least 3 more people in front of me. What is the point of offering appointments when they don't stick to them. 40 mins late now.. Yet if I was late would they still see me?? Nope..

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Daveuk said on 28 December 2013

Bad... Had an appointment as an emergency for 1.30. Get told to be on time get here and already been sitting here for 30 mins plus. One GP working, people coming from all over northants to this place. My drs Eskdale medical should be open on Sat but shut. Really is poor service.

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Suepete said on 19 December 2013

Appalling service this week, elderly neighbour badly let down by A&E. Now our daughter cant get an out of hours Doctor to check her 11 month baby who has bad vomiting and diarheo

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jamescnx said on 14 December 2013

Today we phoned out of hours service for my nana took numerous phonecalls for someone to actually bother taking us seriously just had a doctor arrive, absolutely shocking service the NHS should be ashamed of themselves it just makes me wonder why I bother paying taxes. I think 4 hours waiting is appalling.

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manish83 said on 09 December 2013

While eating my filling of the tooth came out and it was painful but not much painful. I searched my option on the internet and found NHS111. I gave them a ring and the call handler was very polite. She took all the necessary details and told me that we will be having a call back between now till 2 hours. After 20 minutes I had a call from an emergency clinic and my appointment was booked for next day.

It cost me £18 for dentist treatment which was very professional. 5/5 for NHS 111 service.

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kssquared said on 27 November 2013

Thanks to both the members of staff I spoke to tonight and also to the out of hours GP who called me within 10 minutes. This was the first occasion I had used the NHS111 and found all 3 members of NHS that I spoke to were courteous and efficient. Thank you all! :)

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Suekb said on 23 September 2013

I rang 111 at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, the operator asked me lots of questions, which I answered. She told me a doctor would call me later. By midnight I was in so much pain that my partner took me to A & E. How long should one be expected to wait? More than 36 hours later, we still have not had a call! What a waste of time and money!

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mnmof4 said on 28 July 2013

not good at all. i phone this morning 4.52 am for my 4 year old daughter with eye injury .initially i was told a dr will call within an hour and was advised to avoid the A&E which according to the 111 team would be a long wait. i phoned again after an hour just to be told that they are busy but do not know how long will it be. after asking many times to at least give me an idea how long the wait would be i was told probably another half an hour. luckily at about 5 am i thought of giving a ring to my local A&E who hold me they were not very busy so bring her in straight away. she was seen and treated by the duty doctor for the eye injury within 45 minutes. unbelievably the dr from 111 just rang me now about 10am .i just do not know what to say about this unacceptable approach towards a service which is considered to help you when you are in pain. 5 hours of wait for a phone call is just not good.i am looking into making a formal complaint and i think all the people who have had a nasty experience should do so that nhs tries to sort it out hopefully.

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adnylwc said on 30 June 2013

This morning I called 111 for some advice regarding my elderly father and in light of the recent negative media reporting did so with some intrepidation. However the service we received today exceeded my expectations.

The call was answered within a few minutes and I spoke to a very polite and professional adviser who gave his name. After taking some details he then phoned my father and passed him on to speak to a nurse. He then called me back to advise me of what was happening.

The Nurse arranged for another nurse to visit him , which she did and has arranged to come back and check he is OK in a couple of days time.

The whole process from my call to 111 to the Nurse leaving was just 2 and a half hours.

Thank you to everyone who were involved in my call this morning!

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McKay10 said on 28 June 2013

The service I received tonight from NHS111 when I am caring for a palliative care patient - was quite frankly substandard - This is no where near the usual fantastic care the NHS provide. The Doctor was rude and offensive, and had no bad side manner. I am disgusted that his person is let loose on patients. NHS 111 should be ashamed of themselves.

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jude 2011 said on 26 May 2013

My daughter has a spinal tumor, is immunosupressed , quadriplegic and is a high risk patient. I rang at 11.30 this morning for a doctor to attend to her it is now 5.36....six hours and we are still waiting.

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phil gleeson said on 29 April 2013

My mother was taken ill at 5.30pm on saturday 27th April 2013 and my wife rang 111. the people gave good advice and i think they may hav diagnosed pretty well ok.

My complaint is that we were told they only had one doctor on call, knowing that "the service would be busy as its a weekend", their words not mine.

The doctor arrived at 5.20am on sunday 28th April 2013. Twelve hours after the original call, they even claimed my wife never rang until 7.00pm which is untrue but theysaid their system was down s oit couldnt be booked in until the system was back up, fair enough.

My mother is no spring chicken and has health problems above and beyond this episode. My father is unable to look after himself at all meaning my mother is his carer. as a family we do our best and visit and goround whenever called, this does not mean the NHS can assume people will be alright because family members are onsite, what would have happened if she had a heart attack, she has had similar before.

'You have the right to be treated
with dignity and respect, in
accordance with your human rights'

Do you think being left for 12 hours not knowing where you are or in distress is being respectful of dignified, becaue I do not.

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yet another unhappy customer said on 23 April 2013

Me and my partner are currently on holiday in Anglesey over 3 hours away from our home. He complained he wasn't feeling well so he phoned the OOH service to be told to 'go home' in a rude and patronizing tone and see his own GP. What is the point of this service if you cannot be seen by a doctor when you need to?! We could of wasted the precious time of the staff in an A&E department but thought the OOH would of been of better assistance.... how wrong was I?! I must add though the service both me and my partner have received previously in different OOH was more pleasant.

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brcoope said on 14 April 2013

I write this as my father lives out his last few hours in our local nursing home. The onshift matron has called 111 five times to request that a doctor visits to see if he needs any medication administering during the time he has left and we are still waiting for someone to vist the nursing home - this is shameful and shambolic and the matron cannot believe the degradation in service since 111 began.

Bloody ironic really, given that my dad was on the board of the old Brighton Hospital's Board back in the 60s and 70s, trying to make the provision of health care to all as he best as he could.

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narwhal said on 13 April 2013

There is no out of hours service in East Sussex!The NHS 111 number just rings, repeats a useless message and cuts off. Totally unable to contact a doctor; local hospital now has no beds and cannot cope with the influx into A&E of all those who can't contact a doctor. What are GPs playing at? How can they be allowed to opt out when there is no other service provision? GPs are paid large salaries for doing less and less. What happened to SUSDOC, SEADOC and the rest? Who is responsible for allowing GPs to abandon patients? As if patients have any control over how and when they fall ill.All GPs should be legally obliged to provide out of hours cover on a rota basis as part of their NHS contracts.

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Sdfggh said on 02 March 2013

I defy anyone to try and follow this page to find out how to access an out-of-hours GP service in East Sussex

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Miranda Escobedo said on 29 July 2012

Thank goodness for the GP out of hours service! My local practice, like many in my area of East London (as I note from comments elsewhere on this site) offers a pretty poor service from the reception staff, especially re phone calls (answering the phone, dealing consistently with queries, recording what was discussed in phone calls etc). After 5 days without blood pressure medication -- as conveyed to the reception staff -- I was miraculously transferred to the out of hours service when I attempted to ring the surgery at the start of their normal Saturday session. Who knows why? but I was very grateful as I got a month's prescription without any problems (after giving the relevant information re dosage). Had to go to the hospital to get it but, honestly, after all the endless hassle with my own surgery, I didn't mind.

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Page last reviewed: 10/02/2015

Next review due: 10/02/2017

Medicines out of hours

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