"Out of hours - 111"
About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111 South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust NHS 111 Exeter EX2 7HY Torbay Hospital / Accident and emergency Torbay Hospital Accident and emergency Torquay TQ2 7AA
Posted by Concerne Parents14 (as ),
My very young son was poorly on the weekend. High temperature which we were unable to manage for 24 hours with Calpol and Ibuprofen. He was unable to keep down any fluids or solids due to vomiting, no wet nappies on Sunday and on Sunday afternoon unable to keep down with Calpol.
We eventually called 111 on Sunday afternoon, as we were concerned about dehydration. We spoke to a helpful operator, discussed his history of meningitis, current Gastro problems and informed them he was currently under the care of the doctor in Torbay. We worked through the triage and advised we would receive a call back from a GP, time period within 6 hours.
It took approximately 3 hours and we eventually spoke to a GP who felt it was potentially a Sickness bug, although he had no D of D&V but appreciated our concern re dehydration and asked us to attend Torbay to see Dev Docs. Upon arriving A&E/ Dev Docs was packed mostly children with sick bowels.
We were seen ahead of those waiting, called immediately through. It was then confirmed that he actually had infected ear drums on both sides, causing the temperature and sickness. The GP said he was a little dehydrated and gave us tips for getting fluids in him and prescribed amoxicillin.
The GP advised any further problems to call them back.
Next day he seemed to get progressively worse through the day. When in hospital at 11 weeks he showed signs of a reaction to Antibiotics, temperature and rash. Although it was felt at the time this could have been the meningitis and to try him again on antibiotics to see if a reaction occurred. By that evening, he had been crying for over 2 hours nonstop in severe pain, soaring temperature, rash and started to have mini twitching episodes (previously occurred when he had temperature).
My husband and I called 111 again. Unfortunately even though we were following up a previous call we still needed to have full triage which was quite lengthy when a child is screaming in the background, we were down for a call back within the hour.
We were called back within 20 minutes and attended Torbay again to see Devon Doctors.
The clinical service we received with Devon Doctors on the weekend was fantastic, and the operators at 111 were logical and although needed to ask seemingly ridiculous questions did so with a sensible approach to questioning us.
The main faults in the clunky service is the approximate time for a call back with the initial call, 6 hours. Even though I am an NHS worker and try to be sensible with my approach to services, at this point I was tempted to attend A&E. On Monday evening, I knew I would have to call 111 and potentially wait 3 hours for a call back. Again nearly attended A&E as felt it was such a lengthy process. Thankfully the turnaround was quicker. The service would benefit from having a follow-up call option, allowing patients to avoid triage as it is a reference to a previous visit.
I do appreciate the pressures on the emergency care system but can imagine that different parents would have attended A&E both times after calling 111, as a 4 hour wait in A&E (of course on a good day) is shorter than the 6 hour call back period we were advised.