Patients across Devon will now access out-of-hours GP services by ringing their local NHS 111 provider.

From Monday 10 March NHS 111 services replaced GP out-of-hours telephone numbers to become a means to access all non-emergency health services, according to Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.

Mid Devon and North Devon have already switched their service to access out-of-hours GP care through NHS 111, which was done last year.

Mike Haugh, GP clinical lead for Devon’s NHS 111 service, said: “NHS 111 is a great service which will help patients navigate their way through the myriad of health and care services that are out there. It is easy and free to access and will point patients to the best place to meet their urgent healthcare needs.”

The Devon NHS 111 service is commissioned by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, including Torbay. It is being provided by South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust over a five-year contract term.

Devon was one of the last areas of the country to go live with an NHS 111 service, after one part of the consortium selected as the preferred bidder pulled out, citing “commercial resons”. Devon Doctors, which had originally made a joint bid alongside SWAFT and Wiltshire Medical Service.

SWASFT has already been running the NHS 111 service in Dorset for almost a year.