COMMERCIAL: NHS Direct has been selected as the preferred provider to run the NHS 111 service in Buckinghamshire.

NHS 111 is the new non-emergency number being introduced nationally, replacing the 0845 46 47 number. The 111 service will make it easier to direct people to the most appropriate form of healthcare when they need urgent medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency.

The existing service will remain in place until the new NHS 111 number is introduced.

Louise Patten, senior responsible officer for NHS 111 in Buckinghamshire, said: “We are pleased to announce that NHS Direct has been chosen as the preferred provider to operate this important new service.

“We recognise the difficulty people have in trying to decide where to go for their urgent medical help that is not an emergency. Often people go to A&E when they could have saved themselves a journey by going to a local service instead.”