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NHS Direct Wales

NHS Direct Wales
The National Health Service (NHS) Direct telephone helpline - 0845 46 47 - is available 24 hours a day to everyone in Wales.

You can call for nurse triage and advice if you are feeling ill and are unsure what to do, or for health information on a particular condition such as diabetes or asthma.

Advisers can also give you information relevant to where you live, such as your nearest:

  • doctor
  • pharmacist
  • dentist or
  • support group

as well as information on your rights as a patient, waiting lists times and any benefits available to you.

Visit: NHS Direct Wales (external link) 

What happens when I call NHS Direct?

When you call NHS Direct Wales, you will hear a voice message advising you what services we provide. If you stay on the line, your call will be answered and you will be asked for some personal details (your name, address and telephone number for example) and your reason for calling.

Depending on your reason for calling, you will be put through to a nurse or dental adviser or a health information adviser. Sometimes, during busy periods, all our advisers will be on other calls so the call handler will agree a time with you when it is convenient for an adviser to call you back. Call handlers can also give you contact details for your local health services.

Who works for NHS Direct?

There are over 300 members of staff working at NHS Direct Wales. Staff come from a wide range of disciplines and work in the following areas and roles:  management, senior nurse advisers, nurse advisers, health information advisers, dental health advisers, call handlers, audit, data analysis, administration, training and development, human resources, communications, information technology (IT), telecommunications and web development.

What about other services?

In October 2004, new arrangements for general practitioner (GP) out-of-hours services were introduced. Since then NHS Direct Wales has provided a call handling and triage service for out-of-hours services in three Local Health Board (LHB) areas across Wales - Anglesey, Gwynedd and Swansea.

While NHS Direct Wales is available 24 hours a day, if you feel that you need to speak to your GP out of hours, please telephone your doctor’s surgery and your out-of-hours number will be on the answer phone message.

Who can access the service?

We believe NHS Direct Wales should be accessible to all people in Wales, regardless of age, race, gender, ability or language choice.

You can call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 and speak to an adviser in English, Welsh or one of over 120 languages via a telephone translation and interpretation service. All you need to do when you call is state in English the language you would prefer to use. There will be a short pause while an interpreter is found. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or relative to make the call for you and wait until an interpreter is on the line before you carry on with your call.

On our website, you can find information about NHS Direct Wales in 28 languages. These include Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish (Sorani), Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Minicom and Type Talk help us to make the service available for anyone with a hearing impairment. The textphone number is 0845 606 4647. We can also send Information out in Braille or on audiotape.