Experiences and opinions of NHS 111 First in Northamptonshire

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Summary of report content

With NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Healthwatch North and West Northamptonshire sought to find out what people thought of this new service and to hear the experiences of those who had used NHS 111 since the new service began. They were particularly interested in hearing the experiences of those who had phoned NHS 111 and been given a time slot to attend A&E. 131 people responded in total

Nine of the people Healthwatch spoke to had this experience and were mostly positive about the service provided by 111 and A&E. They also felt that the time they had to wait to be seen in A&E was reasonable and gave some suggestions about how the experience could run more smoothly, including having a separate reception in A&E.

They also heard from those who had phoned 111 but were not given a time slot for A&E as other outcomes were more appropriate, such as an ambulance being sent.

Four of the eight people interviewed had experienced communication difficulties when using 111 on the phone and online and made suggestions for how the service could be improved for people with difficulty hearing or understanding. Survey respondents with a hearing impairment or hearing loss also highlighted the difficulties they faced accessing a telephone-based service.

The majority of both those who had needed urgent care recently, and those who had not, thought that contacting NHS 111 First to book a time slot at A&E before attending was a good way of accessing urgent healthcare services, although more of those with a hearing or sight impairment had concerns.

Over three-quarters of all survey respondents said they were likely to call NHS 111 next time they had an urgent medical problem.

Comments from those who thought the new system was a good idea showed a belief that having a time slot booked could reduce the time they had to wait. However, some of those who had used the new system did not feel that the waiting time was reduced, highlighting a need to clarify what people could expect from this aspect of the service.

The report contains four recommendations and a response from the CCG.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences and opinions of NHS 111 First in Northamptonshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Northamptonshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 21 March, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 May, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Urgent and emergency care services 
NHS 111

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Types of long term conditions 
Deafness or severe hearing impairment
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.