"Out of hours GP contact and 111"

About: Core Care Links Limited / GP Out of Hours Unit NHS 111

(as a parent/guardian),

On Saturday my 11 month old sonwas under the weather, streaming eyes, runny, blocked, nose and a bit of a heat rash. With the high pollen count we were pretty sure it was hayfever, which was likely as I had a lot of childhood allergies.

My main concern was if it got worse while he was sleeping and affected his breathing. We went to the pharmacist to get anti-histamine etc. Pharmacist agreed that it was likely hayfever, but nothing is licensed for under 1s so we would need a prescription so should ring out of hours GP.

Rang our GP to get number and got given the 111 number on the out of hours message. Tried another surgery in the area, but also got given 111, so rang them. Described the symptoms, and mentioned the heat rash as well. This led to the 111 operative calling an ambulance.

The ambulance crew turned up to a very blocked up, but lively, cheerful boy. As they had been called they needed to check him over. They then rang the out of hours GP, but couldn't ring directly. Instead they had to ring a central number and wait for the GP to ring back, so were sat waiting for another quarter of an hour. Finally they spoke to the GP, and told us we could go to the out of hours GP service at the local hospital, which we did, getting a prescription for Piriton.

Now if we had been able to have a direct number to the out of hours we could have just contacted them directly then we could have saved tying up an ambulance for over an hour and been able to get the lad sorted out. Instead it took a pharmacist, two phone calls to the 111 number, an ambulance crew and a GP to get a prescription. Not blaming anyone. Everyone was great, especially the ambulance crew (We have three nurses in the family. We know we didn't need them to attend. I just felt really embarrassed we were stopping them attending someone in serious need. ) This was a failure of the way the system was set up, which ended up costing more money.

I wouldn't mind so much if there was no out of hours GP, but as there was one surely the pharmacist should have been given the number to hand us? We also followed the right route, minor concern? Go to Pharmacist. His advice was good and spot on. Just felt like a real waste of everyone's time, and actually delayed My son getting some relief. To get an anti histamine prescription this was a convoluted process.

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