National Poisons Information Service

A service commissioned by Public Health England




Members of the public

seeking specific

information on poisons

should contact:


In England and Wales:

NHS 111 - dial 111


In Scotland:

NHS 24 - dial 111


In N Ireland:

Contact your local GP or

pharmacist during

normal hours; click here

(www.gpoutofhours for GP

services Out-of-Hours.


In Republic of Ireland:

01 809 2166



professionals seeking

poisons information

should consult:

TOXBASE and NPIS telephone support service

Not surprisingly in an increasingly online world, the last decade has seen a marked swing away from obtaining information on poisonings from the NPIS national telephone support service and towards its internet service, TOXBASE by professional staff.


Back in 2000, the total number of TOXBASE sessions was 100,000, compared with 250,000 telephone enquiries. Since then, the trend has reversed, with the number of online sessions increasing some five-fold (to over 628,000 in 2014/15), while telephone enquiries have fallen over time by more than three-quarters (to nearly 48,000 in 2014/15).


There has been no decrease in enquirer satisfaction with either the telephone helpline or TOXBASE and the telephone line is available for more complex enquiries. Telephone enquiries come from hospital, primary care and NHS 111/NHS 24 users. Over a quarter (30%) involve children under the age of five. This reflects the frequency of accidental poisonings among young children.


Information from the NPIS Annual Report 2014/15.


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