Beyond Radio Health

NHS 111

When feeling unwell, many people decide to go to their nearest hospital emergency department or call 999, which is sometimes unnecessary. Do you know about the free NHS assessment service? NHS 111 is a non-emergency service that you can use if you are unsure of which healthcare service you need to visit in North Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The NHS 111 service can direct you to the most appropriate care for your condition, which could be your GP, pharmacy or walk-in centre. It could also be the emergency department at a hospital or an emergency ambulance, if required. This useful service is available 24 hours a day by dialling 111 or by going to

So what happens when you use NHS 111? If you call 111 a specially trained health advisor will take you through a series of questions about your symptoms, any treatment you’ve tried already, any medication you’ve taken and any other medical conditions. At the end of your clinical assessment you will be advised on the next best step for your care, this could be a referral to a clinician for example – a trained nurse or paramedic – for further assessment of your condition or for medical advice. You could also be given advice about contacting the out-of-hours doctor, where to find a late opening pharmacy or community dentist or how to get immediate emergency care.

You can call NHS 111 or go online and look at at any time of the day or night if you are unsure of which service to visit.


Beyond Radio’s Paul Webber has more on this story…

Signs of Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a rare but serious and sometimes life-threatening disease, which can be mistaken for flu or even a hangover because the early symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and muscle pain can be similar.

More cases of bacterial meningitis and septicemia occur in the winter months, so in the winter months it’s important that parents know what to look out for so that they can act quickly if they suspect meningitis.

Our reporter Stuart Buchanan has more on this story…

Half of UK Could Turn Vegan in 2020

With the New Year well-and-truly under way and resolutions hopefully holding firm, new research from Co-op suggests that nearly half of the UK could be inspired to become vegan, with many already becoming flexitarian.

In fact, hundreds of thousands of us are taking part in the seventh annual ‘Veganuary’ and adopting a plant-based diet throughout the month.

Our reporter Nathan Speller has more on this story…

Flu Jab

People living in the Morecambe Bay area are being encouraged to keep their loved ones safe this winter by having their flu jab.

Flu is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza A or B viruses. It is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild illness in most people but some people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Health experts say we can all give the flu to our friends and family members without even knowing it. A recent study reveals that up to 77 per cent of people with flu have no symptoms at all. So people in at risk groups are advised to have a flu vaccine each year. You should have the flu jab if:

  • If you have an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • If you are 65 years of age or over
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have certain medical conditions
  • If you are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • If you receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • Or if you are a frontline health and social care worker

For otherwise healthy people flu can be very unpleasant, however, most people will recover from flu within a week or two. The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.

If you do fall into one of the groups that are at greater risk, please take up the opportunity and have your free flu jab through your GP practice, local pharmacy or employer if you work in the NHS.”

For more information on flu, visit the NHS website at:

Beyond Radio's Steve has more on this story: