There is a major outage of a computer system that is used to refer patients from NHS 111 Wales to out-of-hours GP providers. This system is used by local health boards to coordinate these services for patients. The ongoing outage is significant and has been far reaching, impacting each of the four nations in the UK.
In response to the outage, a Business Continuity Incident has been declared, and partners across Wales have developed and deployed plans so services can continue to operate. The weekend will be a busier time than usual for NHS 111 Wales, and there are things that the public can do to help as work is done to resolve the issue.
Should the public continue to use 111?
Yes. As always, the public is encouraged to start with online help at 111.wales.nhs.uk where there is trusted health advice and information available, including 70+ symptom checkers for many ailments and minor injuries.
What will be my experience if calling 111?
The weekend is a high demand period and processes have been put in place to continue to provide services. Capacity is being maximised by the Welsh Ambulance Service who answer 111 calls, and by Local Health Boards who provide the out-of-hours service. It may take longer for calls to be answered and we thank the public for their patience.
What can the public do to help?
Taking steps now to avoid needing to call 111 will #HelpUsHelpYou. If anyone has a medication concern, we encourage them to contact their GP today during working hours. If it is not an urgent concern, you can also speak to your local pharmacist about medications. You can find your GP and pharmacy opening hours at 111.wales.nhs.uk.
If you are calling 111 for health information, we ask people to think carefully about whether the enquiry is urgent. Remember that 111.wales.nhs.uk has lots of trusted health information and is a good source for many questions that you may have about common health concerns, chronic conditions, treatments, mental and physical health and much more.
We ask that the public please consider the full range of options that are available to them in their local community which could include visiting your pharmacist for minor ailments and medicine matters.
Ambulance and Emergency Departments remain very busy. It is still important to protect these services and they should continue to be used for life-threatening and serious emergencies only.
We thank the public for their support and patience during this time.