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Dorset Residents Advised to Consider Non Emergency Number this Weekend


8:19am 24th May 2013
(Updated 2:04pm 24th May 2013)

The new 111 health helpline made national headlines when GP's warned the service was seriously flawed.

But NHS Dorset are urging us to use the number over the bank holiday weekend.

They say South West Ambulance have made improvements to call handling times and referrals.

They're putting more staff on this weekend to cope with the expected demand.

The service is run by South West Ambulance and has replaced NHS Direct in Dorset.

We spoke to Jane Pike, who works for the NHS, and she told us that 111 is free, open 24 hours a day and that all calls will be dealt with by a trained advisor.

"111 is for when it's not as urgent as when you require an ambulance, but you're not quite sure. 111 will direct you to the most appropriate care and actually, if you need an ambulance, they'll direct you there too."

She also told us, "I'm really pleased we're doing something on 111, and making sure that it's about appropriate use of all the different services."

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