A new easy-to-remember contact number for NHS 24 has been launched, meaning patients in Grampian will be able to call the service simply by dialling 111.
The new telephone number was launched by Health Secretary Alex Neil and means people across Scotland will no longer be charged when calling the national tele-health and telecare service from a landline or mobile.
NHS 24 will continue to deliver the same high quality service for anyone seeking advice and support within Grampian during the out of hours period when their GP surgery is closed.
Commenting, Alex Neil said: “I strongly believe that our NHS should be free at the point of care for all, and this new number will help to protect these founding principles of the NHS.
“The new number is easy to remember, and free to call, which will ensure everyone across Scotland can access support and advice from NHS 24 whenever they need it.
“NHS 24 already provides a valuable service to patients across Scotland when their GP surgery is closed, and there will be absolutely no change to the high quality service provided through this new number.”
NHS 24 will continue to be contactable via the old number (08454 24 24 24) for a limited time. Call volumes to this number will be closely monitored and a decision to close the line will be taken at an appropriate time.
NHS 24 provides a range of telehealth and telecare services to Scotland.
The service takes 1.5 million calls per year – and answers calls on average within four seconds - from patients seeking help when their GP surgery is closed.
NHS 24 has been supporting callers in Scotland for ten years.