A new NHS phone number has launched for patients wanting access to urgent healthcare.
Patients are advised to now call the 111 number when healthcare is needed urgently, but 999 should still be called in case of an emergency.
The new number can be called 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.
The team who answer the calls will be fully trained advisors, who will ask questions to assess the symptons and direct the caller to the right service, whether that is a GP, emergency dentist or a late-night pharmacy.
The number also links to 999 emergency services, so if a patient needs an ambulance they will get one.
Launching NHS 111 for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr Richard Burack said: "The NHS 111 call adviser will be able to give you healthcare advice and direct you to the service that is best able to meet your needs.
“Launching 111 is another step in our plans to help patients access the right care more quickly. There are now only three numbers you need to remember to get help if you are ill – your local GP, 111, or 999”.
Dr Phil Koczan, clinical governance lead for NHS Outer North East London said: “By putting this service in place we are simplifying the service for NHs patients.
"It is vital that we improve access to, and understanding about, urgent care services, which includes out-of-hours care. At present, too many people are confused about who to contact and how to do so.
“Patients calling NHS Direct or the GP out-of-hours service in any of these areas will be automatically routed to the 111 service and be directed to the correct service for their needs.”