"Why does this system leave a dying man in pain?"
About: Harmoni / NHS 111 Harmoni NHS 111 WD18 8YA
Posted by Bar271 (as ),
111 is a good thing in principal. I can see that as a memorable alternative to calling 999, it makes perfect sense – it’s nice and clear for people to remember. However, my experience of the service they provide is not good at all.
I am a carer for a man with end stage pancreatic cancer. He often needs very rapid pain relief. The way to get that relief is to call and get a nurse over to give him the medication. We were advised by the district nurses to either call 111 or to call Harmoni (on a 0203 number) so that they can send out a nurse to give him the injection he needs.
We have had continual problems with both 111 and Harmoni. We have been left waiting for over an hour and a half to get through to speak to someone. Eventually, we have to call 999, as he is in such agony and we just needed the mediation (ambulance staff are able to give him the injections too). Once, I got through to Harmoni, to find an answerphone messaging advising us that they are busy and we should call 999. That’s fine, but it doesn’t seem like a good alternative is being provided here!
When we do eventually get through to 111 – every time you have to go through his full case history, answer the same questions each time, and it takes ages. Surely there should be a better system in place, where they can find his records electronically and save the time. After all, we are sat there with him a agony and each question delays his relief – it’s so upsetting and frustrating. When you’re dealing with painful end stage terminal cancer, there must be a better way.
Oh, and twice they managed to send the doctor and then the district nurse to the wrong address! It’s the last thing you need when you’re desperate to relieve the suffering of a dying man.