Ofcom has published proposals for the Department of Health to introduce a new “111” phone number for people to access non-emergency healthcare in their local area.
The Department of Health intends to introduce the service in England to provide information to the public when they need medical help urgently but the situation is not life-threatening.
Health authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will consider introducing the 111 service following the outcome of pilots in England next year.
Ofcom has set out a range of price options for calls to the service on behalf of the Department of Health, including making calls either free, 10p, 3p per minute, or the cost of a local call. The Department of Health will decide on the price of the calls through negotiations with communications providers.
Ofcom’s consultation closes on August 20.
999 or 112 will continue to be the number to call in an emergency situation.