"Frustrating and inadequate experience of 111"
About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111 South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust NHS 111 Exeter EX2 7HY
Posted by Trogopogon (as ),
I had to use 111 recently when I thought my husband might have had a mini-stroke. I rang 111 and spent a long time going through the call-centre worker's script from which she wouldn't deviate; when she had finished asking irrelevant questions she said she had done all the stroke questions so it couldn't be a stroke, but the out-of-hours GP would ring in a few hours time.
There is no possibility for a patient to talk to the out-of-hours GP, as used to happen, so it is impossible to talk to them directly for advice.
Fortunately for my husband the emergency GP rang back fairly quickly, said it was a stroke, and sent an ambulance which took him to the acute stroke unit. But no thanks whatsoever to the 111 service, which was totally inadequate.
I would urge the political parties to abandon 111, and at the very least revert to the previous out-of-hours emergency system: use of walk-in services for minor incidents or NHS direct phone calls, both staffed by nurses, and contact with local emergency GP services which used a triage system over the telephone, determining whether you went to the GP or the GP came to you.
As I've said, there is no system for speaking to an emergency GP now, other than having to go through 111. No wonder A&E numbers are up, and are pushed up by 111 being dangerously incompetent.