The new number is 0330 1239309 and will be charged at a local rate. The service is for all residents as well as visitors to the county. Lines are open between 6pm and 8am Monday to Friday, during weekends and on public and bank holidays. Anyone with an urgent query about adult social care can also use this number between 5pm and 9am.
Doctor Ian Williams, Director of Integrated Commissioning, said, "The out-of-hours service is there to help people who have an urgent medical or dental concern while their GP or dental surgery is closed.
"The Primecare team will give advice and will be able to arrange access to a healthcare professional at one of our primary care centres in Herefordshire, or a visit from a doctor, if it is needed.
"A leaflet containing the new number and information about doctor and dental services in Herefordshire is being sent to every home in the county during the next ten days. We would urge every resident to read and keep this leaflet safe."
The service is provided by NHS Herefordshire, in association with Primecare. Primecare’s fully-trained, dedicated team help around 3000 people each month with urgent health problems. This rises to as many as 4,500 during December.
Calls dealt with by the team range from severe abdominal pain and collapse to general enquiries about flu and vomiting. The top ten symptoms the team deal with are vomiting and diarrhoea, cold and cough, sore throat and earache, urinary tract infections, head, back and joint pains.
The leaflet with information about the new telephone number, as well as other useful healthcare information and numbers is being sent out to every home in the county with this year's council tax leaflet. The new number is also being promoted by doctor and dentist surgeries and Hereford city buses will also carry advertising to promote the number.