Covid-19 update on NHS 111 service

Patients should be aware that they can still access the NHS 111, option 2, mental health crisis line. If you need to access the crisis mental health line, listen carefully to the messages and follow the verbal instructions. You will get through, although it might take a minute or so longer than normal.
More details available here.


Physical health - urgent and emergency care

Choosing which service is right for you at a given time may not always be easy - often you have more than one option. Use the checklist below to guide you if you're not sure where to start.

Make an appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.

Ask your local pharmacist for advice for many common illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats.

Visit a walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor illness or injury (cuts, sprains or rashes) and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open. CPFT runs three minor injuries units located at Wisbech, Doddington and Ely. For more information on the conditions they do and don't treat, as well opening times, please click here.

Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice, but it's not a life-threatening situation. You can also call NHS 111 if you're not sure which NHS service you need. 

Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

What to do in a mental health crisis

Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, who is registered with a GP  in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.

You might be in crisis if:

  • You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option
  • Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
  • You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

Who to contact if you need mental health support but it's not urgent

Between 9am-5pm, Monday–Friday

  • CPFT Care Co-ordinator: If you are already receiving support from CPFT services, the first point of contact should be your care co-ordinator or named nurse. Your care plan will contain information on how to contact them. If they are not available, ask to speak to the clinician on duty.
  • Your GP: If you need immediate help, then please contact your GP.

Out of hours

  • Lifeline: An out-of hours mental health telephone support service, run by Lifecraft, is available for CPFT’s service users who are experiencing a crisis in their mental health. The service is also available for carers who are concerned about the mental health of a service user. The out-of-hours telephone number is 0808 808 2121. This is weekdays 11am-11pm, 7 days a week.
  • Emergency doctor: All GP surgeries have an out-of-hours number that you can call in an emergency. The out-of-hours doctor may assess the situation over the phone, ask you to attend a clinic/service, or may come out to assess the service user. They will be able to arrange any necessary specialist assessments.
  • Local walk-in centre: Most centres are open 365 days a year and outside office hours. Some newly opened centres may offer different opening hours during their first few months.
  • Samaritans: If you feel you urgently need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123.
  • Police: If the person you care for is being violent, threatening or you feel at risk, you should contact the police directly by dialling 999.

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS) 

  • The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provides service users, their carers and families with help, information and support to resolve concerns quickly and efficiently. To find out more click here. Email PALS via pals@cpft.nhs.uk or call 0800 376 0775 (Office hours Monday to Friday)


Further information

The page was last updated on 24 November 2020 by agrosbois.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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