Advertising of the NHS 111 service needs to be better, a meeting in Bradford was told last night.

Councillors on the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee lamented a “soft” approach to telling the public the service is available.

The 111 service is the number to call when you need medical help but not 999.

Councillor Michelle Swallow (Lab, Clayton and Fairweather Green) said: “NHS Direct was quite well-established. When it changed to 111, it seemed to be done so softly. The fact that so many people don’t know it’s there is not good.”

But Jeevan Bhadare, NHS 111 lead for West and South Yorkshire, said: “It is nationally mandated that we cannot promote 111.”

The committee heard that was because other areas had not ‘gone live’ with the 111 service. Councillors recommended the promotion of the service locally.