How 111 online works

NHS 111 online is a digital triage service, available in England only, for people aged 5 and over.

If you have an urgent health problem and are unsure what to do about it, we can tell you where to get the right help.

Call 111 if you need to get help for a child under 5.

What a triage service does

‘Triage’ means answering a series of questions to check how ill you might be and what help you need.

Triage services do not give you a diagnosis.

The more questions you are asked the less serious it’s likely to be.

We use the same triage system (‘algorithm’) as the 111 phone service, called NHS Pathways.

Knowing who and where you are

We ask for your location at the start so we can find services close to you that can help.

You don’t need to tell us who you are to use 111 online, but if we refer you to another service we will need some personal details from you.

Our privacy statement describes how we use your personal information.

Choosing the right symptom

111 online has about 120 topics to choose from, covering most common symptoms.

We ask questions about symptoms. We cannot give advice about conditions you already know you have.

The system can only triage one symptom at a time. If you have multiple symptoms, it is important to pick the one that is bothering you most.

Information:

Call 111 to speak to a health adviser if you need help with worrying symptoms caused by a long-term condition.

Finding out what to do next

Based on your answers to triage questions, we tell you what to do next. We rely on the NHS Directory of Services to show you the right place to get care in your area.

Getting a callback from a nurse

If your symptoms mean you need a callback from a nurse, you will be offered one and given a timeframe. You cannot request a callback.

People who have used 111 online go into the same callback queue as those who have used the phone service and the waiting times are the same.

Callback times can be longer when the 111 service is busy.

If a nurse needs to contact you, this is currently only available as a phone call.

Referral to other urgent care services

You might be referred to services you can contact yourself or visit. These include urgent treatment centres, evening and weekend GPs, specialist support for sexual or mental health, or A&E departments.

The services we show you will be open when you need to visit and are based on the location you gave us.

Contacting your GP

During daytime weekday hours, you might be advised to contact your own GP. We cannot make an appointment with your GP for you.

If other services are available in your area instead of your GP we will show them to you.

Dentists, opticians and pharmacists

If you need to see a dentist, optician or pharmacist, we’ll tell you how to find one or you can contact your own.

Self-care

If you’re told it’s safe to look after yourself, we’ll tell you how to do that at home.

Getting in touch with us

We ask for feedback, but this is only used by 111 online to help improve our service.

We are unable to respond to requests for medical help left as feedback.

We cannot:

  • get in touch with other parts of the NHS on your behalf
  • issue fit notes - you need to contact your GP