Innovation and changeDigital TransformationNHS 111 online crosses 1 million calls for help

NHS 111 online crosses 1 million calls for help

NHS 111 has completed its one millionth triage on 10 May. On an average, the NHS has received 48.7 thousand calls per day since January 2019

According to NHS Digital, NHS 111 online has been used more than one million times to get people the medical help they need since its launch in December 2017.

NHS 111 services can be accessed online through the NHS website or the NHS App when the GP practice or dentist is closed. By answering simple questions about their symptoms patients are directed to the right place to get help. Last month, NHS App was successfully tested by more than 3,000 patients.

NHS claims that the the triage process usually takes about two minutes. Patients may even be able to book a call from an urgent care service, if necessary.

Significant milestone

Debbie Floyd, Head of the NHS 111 online programme at NHS Digital, said: “This is a significant milestone for the programme and shows how the service is helping so many patients across England. It’s great to see so many people using the service and the different clinical pathways that patients can access.”

NHS 111 providers conduct surveys to compare patient experience between service areas. The results of the survey highlight the importance of this service:

  • 88% were either very or fairly satisfied with the way the NHS 111 service handled the whole process;
  • 88% followed all the advice given by the 111 service;
  • Seven days after their call, the problem they were calling about had improved or completely resolved for 78%;
  • 90% found the advice they received from the 111 service was either very or quite helpful;

Online journeys on NHS 111

Around 13% of all NHS 111 online journeys end with self-care advice, almost half (48%) of all triages direct users to contact primary care and about a quarter (24.7%) of journeys end with instructions to ring 999 or attend A&E. In total 6.8% are advised to seek dental treatment and 7.4% are given other treatment dispositions, including speaking to a pharmacist. Data from April 2018 show that 2.5% of all referrals from NHS 111 were made to pharmacy, compared with fewer than 1% in April 2015.

The most common symptoms for which people use NHS 111 online are related to abdominal pain and dental problems.

The data shows the service continues to grow as 73.8% of visitors ‘in hours’ (weekdays 8am to 6pm) and 70.4% of visitors ‘out of hours’ (evenings, weekends, bank holidays) are using NHS 111 online for the first time.

Women (68.3%) are also more likely to use the service than men (31.6%), and the average age of a user is 30 years old.

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