GPs in Corby are urging patients to dial 111 if they need to see a doctor during the night, at weekends and on bank holidays.
The Out of Hours 111 urgent care service is available for patients who are concerned about their health and feel they need to see a doctor when their surgery is closed.
It is available Mondays to Fridays throughout the night between 6.30pm to 8am, and 24 hours a day on weekends and bank holidays.
When a patient calls 111 they will be asked questions about their condition and given a time slot to attend Prospect House in Lower Street, Kettering, or may be advised to attend the Corby Urgent Care Centre if it is between 8am and 8pm. If the patient is terminally ill or housebound there will be doctors or nurses available who will come out to the house.
Clinical vice-chairman of Corby Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Miten Ruparelia said: “111 is a national system for urgent problems but it’s been surprising how many of my patients are unaware of the out of hours service in Corby and instead go to A&E at Kettering General Hospital.
“If you go to A&E you will be prioritised on the basis of need but with out of hours 111 you will be seen at a pre-arranged time which should be much quicker.
“A&E is for life-threatening situations, so if it’s not critical please use this service if you can’t wait to see your GP on the next working day.
“Also, if you use the out of hours 111 service your full medical record will be viewed by a doctor, with your consent, and your own registered GP will be able to see a summary of your health on the next working day.”
For more information about the GP out of hours service visit http://www.corbyccg.nhs.uk/gp-out-of-hours/