Ofcom has confirmed that it will allocate a new memorable three-digit phone number for NHS non-emergency healthcare services. The new 111 number is designed to make it easier for patients to access healthcare in their local area.
The Department of Health plans to pilot the new number next year in England for 12 months and, subject to a successful test, expects to roll out the service further after that.
Health authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will decide whether to introduce the 111 service following those pilots.
According to the Department of Health, calls to the number will be free.
The service will provide advice and information to the public when they need medical help urgently – but the situation is not life-threatening.
Meanwhile, 999 or 112 will continue to be the number to call in an emergency situation.