Tricia D’Orsi is the chief nurse at Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group.

Tricia has worked in a variety of care settings, but the majority of her career has been in General Practice, where she once credited as being one of the leading Practice Nurses in the country by the Royal College of Nursing.

In her role as Chief Nurse, Tricia sits on the board of the CCG Governing body, a role which carries a wide range of responsibilities including; protecting the interests of patients, working closely with senior healthcare professionals and management to offer advice about improvements to services, monitoring and evaluating the quality and safety of care provision locally and driving forward increased choices for patients.

Some people don’t realise that the NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year!

When somebody dials NHS 111 they are put through to highly trained call handlers, supported by highly experienced, qualified nurses and paramedics.

People are clinically assessed on the phone and given appropriate advice, or referred directly to the most suitable NHS service to deal with their specific health need.

This can range from dentistry, pharmacy, or community services to out of hours GP services or in some cases an ambulance will be arranged.

You do not need to call 111 early to get an out of hours GP appointment, in fact, you may find a quicker response later on.

The service is the same whatever time you call.

Whenever possible the NHS 111 team will book an appointment for you or they will transfer you directly to the people you need to speak with.

If they think you need an ambulance for an urgent health need, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

So if you are ever in doubt and you need medical advice fast, just call NHS 111, day or night, for a direct line to a local NHS service.