"I have called 111 several times but have never received a satisfactory answer"

About: Harmoni / NHS 111

(as a service user),

I have called 111 several times but have never received a satisfactory answer. I always tell them at the start I have a heart condition, often they tell me they will call be back – which they do, sometimes they tell me to call an ambulance which I am reluctant to do as I know how busy they are.

I recently called about my medication. I had forgotten to take a tablet I normally take first thing in the morning – I wanted to know if it would be safe to take it a bit later in the day – when I called 111. They asked a lot on unnecessary questions such as whether I had ingested poison or was I bleeding profusely?

I have now received a form from them to fill in, one question is whether I would recommend the service to friends or family. Based on the questions I am asked when I ring 111 I would say ‘No’ as I would not want to put other people through that kind of lengthy questioning.

Generally speaking the service is negative because they do not want to take a chance.

Another question on the form I have received asks if I followed the advice I was given – but no advice was given for me to follow.

A further questions asks for the patient’s age, this is followed by asking whether I felt better within 5 days of calling 111 – the two are totally unrelated.

Towards the end of the form they ask about ethnic origin – what difference does that make?

I used to use a service called ‘Grab a doctor’, an out of hours GP service which was far better and simpler.

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