NHS 111 has received over 1 million calls, Health Minister Simon Burns announced today, as latest figures show that 92% of callers were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS 111 experience.
The new NHS 111 service, which means patients can reach the whole of the NHS through just one simple free to call number, has now dealt with over 1,000,000 calls since its introduction in August 2010.
The 1,000,000 calls include patients who:
• Need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
• Need some guidance about the best possible service
• Don’t know who to call or don’t have a GP to call
There are now 10 sites up and running the new service. In April, the majority of calls were dealt with within 60 seconds and 92% of callers were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS 111 experience.
Callers to 111 can speak to qualified, experienced nurses and the NHS 111 team can book a patient an appointment or transfer them directly to the people they need to speak to. If you need an ambulance one will be sent just as quickly as if you had dialled 999.
It will ultimately replace NHS Direct, dealing with a wider range of cases and with the ability to send an ambulance to a patient directly or book an appointment in a GP practice.
Health Minister Simon Burns said:
“This is justification of our decision to launch NHS 111. More and more people are using 111 to find the service that is best for them. NHS 111 is being introduced so patients can reach the whole of the NHS through just one simple number. There is strong support for the new service across the NHS.
“Patient safety is a key priority and NHS 111 call advisers have to complete a six week training programme which is exactly the same training as 999 operators. They are supported by trained, experienced nurses who are always on hand to take over if the caller needs to speak to someone with clinical skills. It is important that people use NHS 111 when they urgently need care, to be directed to the right service for them.”
Local groups of GPs are working together across the country to make sure that the 111 service their patients get meets the needs of the local community and delivers the best possible results.
Notes to editors
• For further information, please contact the Department of Health’s press office on 020 7210 5962.
• The live sites are: County Durham and Darlington, Lancashire (excluding West Lancashire), Lincolnshire, the London boroughs of Croydon, Hillingdon, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea, Luton, North Derbyshire and Derby City, Nottingham City and the Isle of Wight.
• All NHS 111 call advisers in the existing live areas are required to complete a 6 week training programme, which includes 60 hours in the classroom, written examinations, lengthy periods of supervised use and review of calls they have taken before they are certified to use the clinical assessment system.
• NHS Direct and the Department of Health have reached an agreement to secure the jobs of a large number of NHS Direct’s frontline staff in areas where the organisation is not the lead provider of the new NHS 111 service. The transfer of staff will be done through the application of Cabinet Office guidelines allowing NHS Direct to transfer staff in contact centres closest to the area of the NHS 111 service using a process similar to TUPE.
• Staff will retain current terms and conditions of employment, continuous service and equivalent pension provision.
• A full evaluation of the service in the four pilot areas will be published later this year.
• Statistics published today can be found on the DH website.