Summary of report content
Healthwatch East Sussex undertook a survey of people’s experiences of using NHS 111 to gain further insight about this service. They received 82 responses.
Respondents’ experiences of NHS 111 were very mixed. Over half felt NHS 111 had resolved their needs, but nearly two in five did not.
The most common rating of NHS 111 was ‘Poor’ (28%), but 22% rated it as ‘Excellent. The average rating was 3.1 out of 5.
Users appreciated access to 24/7 support, especially when GPs and other services were closed. Verbal advice, clinical call backs and referrals were especially valued.
Respondents had mixed views on the standard triage questions asked by call handlers, some viewing this as a barrier.
Speed of response was a key issue, with half of respondents rating this as Poor/Very Poor. This included initial contact, call backs and onward referrals to other services.
Two-thirds of people indicated they were Likely/Very Likely to use the service again
Three-quarters of respondents accessed NHS 111 directly, with the remainder referred by others. The most common referrers being GPs, the Ambulance Service and pharmacies.
Two-thirds of NHS 111 users were referred or signposted to other services. The services most referred or signposted to were Emergency Departments, the Ambulance Service and GPs.
The services most accessed by people who felt NHS 111 had not or could not resolve their needs were their own GP, the Ambulance Service and Emergency Departments.
Responses suggest that there is a reasonable likelihood that a high proportion of NHS 111 users will end up using GP, Emergency Departments and Ambulance Services. This is a combination of NHS 111 referral, and direct access where users feel NHS 111 has not met their needs.
The report contains five recommendations and a response from the provider