"Out of Hours 111 service"

About: NHS 111 Wessex

(as the patient),

I telephoned the 111 service after midnight one Saturday regarding a problem that I had after contracting an infection 4 days after having dental surgery.

I initially contacted the out of hours dental service which had closed, the message informed me to contact the 111 service.

I spoke to the operator who assessed me but at the time the symptons given did not warrant any further action and I was informed to wait until my dental practice opened on Monday, even though I was informing them that pain relief was not working. I finished the call, however the operator called back at which point I handed the phone to my wife who is a qualified nurse with 20 years experience who informed the operator that yes it was caused by dental surgery and that the infection was causing systemic problem. The operator informed my wife that they would get a clinician to call, though it might be a while as they were inundated.

2 to 3 hours later we received a call from a nurse who then reassessed me again, the advice received was that it was dental and gave me the impression given was that it was not their responsibility and to grin and bear it until Monday until I could attend a dental surgery. The clinician then was going to give me advice on pain relief, at which point I passed the phone to my wife, who again repeated that this could turn into a systemic problem and that she wanted a doctor to call me. The operator informed my wife that if things got worse for me to attend A&E, but she would ask if a clinician could call me.

A short while later a doctor called and I then went through the whole thing again. As soon as I mentioned that it was a Dental problem, the attitude changed to one of I cannot be bothered, there was a sighing down the phone while he was looking up the out of hours dental number, and couldn't get rid of me quick enough. I will be making a separate complaint to Serco Doc regarding this individuals attitude and patient handling.

After, this I started to really feel unwell with a raised temperature and pain. My wife called the 111 service again and informed the operator that I was feeling unwell and needed to be reassessed which happened and the computer recommended I see someone within 6 hours, The only place to do that was A&E, which seems a waste of time my wife asked was it not possible to see a doctor from the Serco Doc service who could prescribe antibiotics she was informed that A&E had what I needed.

I then received a call from a paramedic who informed of the same.

I feel that the service I received was utterly disgusting, and once I mentioned it was dental problem it seemed the onus was to get rid of me as quick as possible, to call the out of hours service, which if you deem to listen to says that once closed to call the 111 service.

On the Sunday morning I telephoned the Emergency Dental Service who saw me straight away, and removed copious amounts of exudate material from the infected area and immediately commenced high dose antibiotics.

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