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Telecoms Operators Prep New UK COVID-19 NHS Number 119 UPDATE

Saturday, April 25th, 2020 (7:23 am) - Score 38,910
covid-19 virus broadband isp uk

At present if you need to contact the NHS about an issue related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) then the advice is to visit their website or phone 111 (not 999). However, ISPreview.co.uk understands that UK telecoms companies (e.g. Vodafone, Simwood etc.) have been working hard to prep a new number (119), which may launch next week.

The official date for the launch of this new phone number isn’t confirmed yet, although most operators have managed to rush it into action ready for Monday, but the announcement seems likely to come at any point next week, or the week after, because some operators have only had very little time to prepare (Monday would be too soon for some).

The idea behind 119 is that it will help to handle COVID-19 specific cases and that in turn should take the pressure off 111, which was previously only ever intended to be the more general (non-emergency) medical advice line for the NHS (it has since become very strained due to the pandemic).

As usual calls to 119 will be routed based on origin and there will also be different ways of reaching the same 119 number, such as via an 0800 number and geographic numbers (more will be revealed in the announcement). At present the number only has a test announcement (it should go without saying but please DO NOT test this yourself!), which will remain until it goes live.

UPDATE 29th April 2020

Still no firm launch date for this, partly because of the aforementioned issue with quite a few providers being given too little notice to adapt and a few other technical issues.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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16 Responses
  1. Pete says:

    As a 111 call handler – this will be REALLY good! We don’t get to work from home due to pathways being Intranet only and the call volumes are berserk!

    1. Mike says:

      Roughly what % of 111 calls are Corona related?

  2. Joshua says:

    I am guessing you also received an email from Ofcom about this… guessing you didn’t read the confidential part of the email. This was sent out so that telephone companies and VOIP resellers could make changes to their phone systems so that WHEN the number has been released, the number could be dialled. The email wasn’t sent out so that you could post a blog about this. – Do not start telling people about the new number, even when Ofcom and the government are not realising information to the public. You are not the government so you should not be realising information that everyone who received the email knew was confidential and was not for spreading online.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      I have not received any such email as I’m not a telecoms operator (Ofcom know I’m a telecoms centred journalist). I will happily respect an embargo or confidentiality, but only if I’m a party to that process, which ISPreview is not.

      I have however been sent information via various industry sources, which made no mention of if being confidential (some IP operators, like Simwood, have also posted updates about it on their public sites). Nobody from the Government has since asked me not to do so and they do know how to reach me.

      In case it wasn’t already abundantly obvious, it is my job to write about such things. If you would rather visit a site that only ever prints what the Government or operators command then you may freely choose to live in China.

    2. You're a twat says:

      You sound like a bit of a twat.

    3. Josh the twat says:

      Josh sounds like a right grassing twat

  3. Stacey sale says:

    I received a text message to contact 119 for a free corona virus test?. Which is coming tommorow. I’ve googled every possible reason why . And nobody else I know has had one . But it was from my doctors surgery ?

    1. Staceysale says:

      This feels so weird and suspicious because I’ve heard they have ran out of tests ???? And there sending me one tommorow on a Sunday ?

    2. covid suffererer onto of everything else , i cannot get help this gov is a LIE machine Bojo went to carribean , less paparazzi says:

      don’t be surprised when it doesn’t turn up , they are full of BULLPIES

  4. Allan Baker says:

    I am trying to get to talk to someone about the symptoms I have developed this morning I have a raging tens I hurt so much I can’t walk and I have know one to get me any new tablets to bring my temp down. So I have been online. What do they tell me stay indoors! Take tablets! Let us know who you have been near.
    Why bother you won’t even speak to me no matter who I go to. Hi and get a test!!!!! I can’t ! That’s what I want to tell you. Some people need to talk???????

    1. Tracy O'Callaghan says:

      Hi There Allan Baker.I myself have been Ill since Late December 2019. What began as Flu Like Symptoms(I Do have a Flu jab each year) Then Developed into a Chronic Chest Infection (Which lasted over 3 Weeks, Despite GP Prescribing both Steroids and Various Antibiotics) My Condition Deteriorated Rapidly,Finally After A Chest X-Ray In Late January,I was found To Be Suffering from PNEUMONIA!!…I Have Never Recovered, I Finally got to have My Long-Awaited Follow-up XRay last Tuesday 23rd. Have been bk on Antibiotics/Steroids for over a Week again, Deteriorated dreadfully since going for the XRAY, The Weather was Scorching Hot, I could Barely Breathe after walking down a Very Long Corridor To XRAY Dept. Made to wear a Mask ( I’m Asthmatic/Borderline COPD,The Whole Experience was an Absolute Nightmare!.This isn’t a case of Deja-vue,It’s way past that now for me Personally. I now have suspected DVT In Both Legs, As my Ankles/Shins are So Very Swollen since Tuesday in the sweltering heat too of course, The Paramedic wanted me to go to A+E, For A Blood Test To Confirm. NOT ME MATE!!..(Thanks All The Same) Just leave me The Hell In Peace, In My Own Bed, Where I Shall Isolate Until Further Notice!! So to Conclude, Everyone Don’t Just “STAY ALERT” As Boris advised us not too Long Ago..Have Consideration For Others Too, Such as Myself will you Please? Have the Decency and Common Sense To Just “Stay Home!” After All..It’s only A Few Days Away now till July 4th!☹☹ Or ALWAYS Wear a Mask Whenever Possible..After All, Someone Must have passed this Devastating Illness Onto Me In The 1st PlaceJ ust Help Me Begin To Feel Well Again My Lord? Thank You.AMEN!!

  5. CLEMENT JOHN CARCHRAE says:

    WHY IS IT TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE TO USE THE ALGORITHMS OF THE SCUM THAT MEDDLEWITH ELECTIONS TO COLLECT DATA ABOUT COVID19 ANS ITS SUBSEQUENT DEADLY INFECTION.

    WHO STARTED , WHO IS SPREADING IT, WHO SEES BOTH OF THESE AS OPPORTUNITIES TO WIPE OUT THEIR ENEMIES ?

    HOW IS BORIS NOT A PATSY OR THE OBVIOUSLY OBVIOUS DEMONIC COMEONMYFACE, NOT AT ALL PART OF THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS, HOW HIGH , THAT IS THE QUESTION , WHO WILL BUILD THE MOST WEAPONS NOTNECECARRLY FOR USE BUT MORE FOR REPARING ECONOMY. LIKE WE HAVE DONE IN THE PAST ….

    MY FELLOW HUMANS , PLEASE CHANGE , HERE IS THE CATALYST ,
    THIS WHOLE DISEASE ITS SPREAD ITS TARGETS, WE NEED TO KNOCK DOWN MORE THAN STATUES, WE NEED TO ALTER MINDS.

    JUST LIKE FACEBOOOK DOES………

    PLEASE THINK
    +C

  6. Mrs AM Burtt says:

    I’ve been trying for 3 days to get through to no avail. I’m really surprised that the announcement you get at 7.01am is that they have “extremely high call volumes”, tell you to try later and then disconnect the call. When you then do try later there’s simply no answer.
    Furthermore, the website itself has now “technical issues”!
    If they’re so inundated they should delegate this service elsewhere as this service is utterly useless at the moment.

  7. Madison says:

    I’ve been trying for 2-3 days now to get through to 119. There have been no tests available (home test, drive through OR walk in tests) for days now. By the time I get a test there wont be any point in taking it! I’ve been on the phone to 119 for an hour and a half already. No answer. So I may have Covid, and cant get a test. Helpful.

  8. Jasmine says:

    The call handlers hang up on you after bei g on hold for an hour. It’s a total joke. I think calls should be recorded!

    1. RC says:

      They are recorded the company that deals with this is called Teleperformance

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