Experiences of Urgent Medical Care in Shropshire

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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%.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of Urgent Medical Care in Shropshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Shropshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 July, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Integration of services
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Out of hours
NHS 111
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Non binary
Prefer not to say
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Prefer not to say
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised

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.