Calling us - the NHS Direct telephone service

Whatever your health concern or query, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For health advice and information, just call...

0845 4647

When you call NHS Direct, we’ll ask you to provide some basic information, including details of any medication you may be taking. If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, you’ll need to provide this information on their behalf.

We’ll assess your problem and advise you on the best course of action. If you’re feeling unwell at the time of your call, you may be told how you can look after yourself at home, or we may recommend seeing a pharmacist (chemist).

If it’s something more serious, you may be advised to see another health professional, such as your doctor. If the problem is very serious, we can help you to access the ambulance service.

Whatever the problem, we’re here to give you the help and reassurance you need.

Call costs

Calls from BT landlines:

  • Calls to NHS Direct cost a maximum of 5 pence per minute from a BT landline.

Calls from mobiles and other networks:

  • The cost of calls from mobiles and other networks may vary, and can be considerably more than from a landline.
  • 0845 numbers may not be covered by your inclusive minutes plan. You may be charged a minimum cost per call.
  • Please check your mobile provider for 0845 call charge rates.

More ways we can help

We’re not just here when you’re feeling unwell. NHS Direct can help you with much more. Including:

  • Information on a wide range of health topics
  • Advice on looking after your health, such as how to quit smoking or start an exercise programme
  • Details of local doctors, pharmacists, dentists and support groups

Interpreter service

We also have a confidential interpreter service, which is available in many languages. Simply say the language you wish to use when we answer your call.

Textphone service

textphone service is also available if you are deaf or hard of hearing. The textphone number is 0845 606 4647.

Calling NHS Direct from an organisation with a central switchboard

If you are calling from an organisation which has a central switchboard, sometimes the telephone system won’t recognise telephone numbers which are less than 11 digits long.

The NHS Direct telephone number is only 8 numbers long, so try adding 3 more numbers after it. These can be any numbers for example 0845 4647 123.


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