Thousands of people turnin to 111 health service

Telephone advice is helping to relieve frontline services.
Telephone advice is helping to relieve frontline services.

Around 32,000 people are now using the NHS 111 service each week to receive urgent health advice across Yorkshire and the Humber.

According to the latest NHS data, an average 3,800 people each weekday and 13,000 on a weekend are being helped by the service.

The recently launched NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ winter campaign for 111 is designed to ensure people know how to get the right help when it is needed. Telephone advice is seen as a vital help in reducing pressure on A&E services, as the NHS develops its long-term care plan.

All calls answered by NHS 111 are handled by fully trained staff who can advise, signpost to local services, or arrange further appointments.

Increasing numbers of callers speak directly to a clinical professional, when it is appropriate for their conditions.

During November 2018, only one in ten callers to 111 was advised to visit A&E, while almost 15 per cent were reassured they did not need a further NHS service. People can also use the NHS 111 online service at https://111.nhs.uk/

Sally Bell, senior assurance manager for NHS England in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Every day in Yorkshire, thousands of people find NHS 111 offers expert advice without the need to visit A&E.

“Anyone in need of help for a life-threatening emergency can continue to get help at their A&E, but it’s clear there are safe alternatives to A&E for less severe issues.”

Recent patient survey results suggest 111 is beginning to ease pressure on frontline services.

More than one in four people said they would have gone to A&E and 16 per cent said they would have called an ambulance had the 111 service not been available.