NHS 111 Out-of-hours service: Public feedback from Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay

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Summary of report content

Between June and August 2018, Healthwatch Somerset undertook a series of engagement events and an online survey to understand people’s experiences of using the NHS 111 service. They wanted to find out what worked well for people, what did not work well, and what people thought could be improved when using the NHS 111 service provided by Devon Doctors Ltd.

HW Somerset and HW Devon, Plymouth and Torbay worked together to produce an online survey to record people’s experiences of using the NHS 111 service in the past six months across both counties. 186 people from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay completed the online survey.

Key Findings:

  • 40.86% (76) of people rated their experience of using the NHS 111 service as ‘very good’.
  • 23.66% (44) of respondents waited longer than three hours for an arranged call-back.
  • A fifth, 20.43% (38), of commentators never received an arranged call-back.
  • Most people, 75.81% (141), said that their call was answered in a timely manner.
  • Improved training for call operators was the most common response to the question: In your opinion how could the NHS 111 service be improved?
  • Some people, 7.59% (12), told us that they had to call 999 or visit an emergency department due to inadequate responses from the NHS 111 teams.
  • 7.53% of comments to the question Is there anything else you would like to tell us? said that calling NHS 111 was quicker or better than access to their registered GP surgery.
  • It is evident throughout the feedback that the accuracy and quality of the service people received was not consistent.

A number of recommendations are made in this report.

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General details

Report title 
NHS 111 Out-of-hours service: Public feedback from Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Healthwatch Plymouth
Healthwatch Somerset
Healthwatch Torbay
Date of publication 
Friday, 5 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 5 February, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 5 February, 2021
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Integration of services
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
NHS 111
Urgent and emergency care services 
NHS 111

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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

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.