Summary of report content
Since July 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) has been piloting an NHS First service to encourage patients to call NHS 111 for an assessment of how urgent their condition is (triage) before attending accident and emergency (A&E) services. Healthwatch Shropshire wanted to gather the views and experiences from people who have used NHS 111 to understand how they were helped to access services.
During March and April 2021, 70 people answered a survey and described experiences of seeking urgent medical care after 1 December 2020.
59% of respondents said they contacted NHS 111 first when they had an urgent medical need
The proportion of people who contacted NHS 111 first varied across Shropshire, ranging from 29% in the South West to 71% in the North
Fifteen of the people who contacted NHS 111 First (36%) were booked into appointments with other services:
- 13 of these described the process of booking an appointment as very good (11) or good (2).
- 14 of these said they would use the system again of contacting NHS 111 first if a booked appointment could be made for them.
- All agreed that using NHS 111 was straight forward.
- 57% of people were seen more quickly than they expected.
Ten out of the 11 carers who contacted NHS 111 about the person they care for were able to discuss the patient’s needs with the NHS 111 health advisor.
69% of all patients who contacted NHS 111 rated their experience as very good or good.
Overall, 24 (35%) of people told us they were aware that 111 could book same day appointments with services, 38 (55%) were not aware and 7 (10%) were unsure. There was less awareness as age increased.
Overall, 49 (71%) of people were ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to contact NHS 111 the next time they were seeking urgent medical care. The groups that were least likely were those who had contacted their GP, where this figure fell to 36% and those who had gone straight to A&E where the figure was 50%. The figure for those who had experience of contacting NHS 111 was 78%.