Text service tells you local doctors and dentistsNHS Direct service also details A&E and chemists

14 February 2008

Texting on a mobile phone

Mobile phone users in England will now be able to get details of local NHS services via text message.

The new service from NHS Direct will let you know your nearest GP, dentist, pharmacy, optician, walk-in centre, casualty department or hospital.

You enter the name of the service you want, followed by your postcode and text it to 61121.

You're then texted back with details of the closest services to that postcode, including the service's name, address and telephone number, and its distance from the postcode.

Mobile phone

You pay your standard rate for the texts, and NHS Direct covers the cost of the replies.

NHS Direct Commercial Director Ronnette Lucraft said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for NHS Direct as it enables people to access health information on the go.’

She added: ‘There are now more active mobile phone connections than UK residents and 84% of UK adults use a mobile phone regularly, so the service has a huge potential audience.

‘Significantly, mobile phones are now used by all sections of society, and there is evidence that mobile phone usage is higher amongst hard-to-reach social groups.’

The seven key words to access the seven local health services are: GP; dentist; pharmacy; optician; walk; casualty; hospital.