About the NPIS - telephone enquiries

Updated 8/2021

What happens when a healthcare professional telephones for advice?

The NPIS helpline is only available to NHS professionals, and is staffed 24-hours a day, 365 days a year by trained NPIS specialists in poisons information (SPIs). Calls are routed to the most appropriate UK NPIS unit according to geographic location and availability of a telephone line. All NPIS telephone enquiries are recorded for governance purposes and the data is logged within confidential case record databases held by the NPIS. Such a record is important in order that the management of poisoning in the United Kingdom can be improved, based on the experience of the NHS as a whole.

If deemed necessary, enquirers can consult directly with an experienced NPIS consultant clinical toxicologist who will be participating in the UK NPIS national consultant on-call rota. All clinical toxicologists working for the NPIS have day-to-day experience of managing cases of acute poisoning in NHS clinical units associated with NPIS units. NPIS consultants are directly responsible for managing in excess of 6,000 cases of poisoning per annum, and therefore have a large clinical experience to draw on when answering queries.