Around 2500 people per
day in the North East of England now receive urgent health advice
over the phone via the NHS 111 service, according to latest NHS
Ahead of the busy winter months, a new
NHS campaign is encouraging people to take advantage of health
advice by phone, with the latest statistics showing that more
people than ever are receiving advice from a clinician when they
A new 'Help Us, Help You' winter
campaign, which includes 111 advertising, has been designed to
ensure people know where to access the most appropriate service
when they need it.
Offering expert clinical advice
to people seeking help over the phone is a core part of improving
access to urgent NHS help, and reducing pressure on A&E
services, as the NHS continues to develop a long-term plan for
Figures show that almost half of
those who used the 111 phone service in the North East this October
received expert assessment from a clinical professional.
While all calls answered by NHS
111 are handled by fully trained staff who can advise, signpost to
local services or arrange appointments for further assessment,
increasing numbers of callers now also receive clinical advice
directly from a clinical professional.
The proportion of telephone
calls receiving direct input from doctors, nurses and other
clinicians has been steadily increasing every month since it was
first collected in November in 2016, when one in four people spoke
to a trained clinical professional via 111.
Last month in the North East, only one in ten
callers to 111 was advised to visit A&E, while over
20% were reassured that they need not attend any
further NHS service, advised to self-care or were signposted to a
NHS England's Medical Director
for Cumbria and the North East, Professor Chris Gray, said: "Every
day in the North East of England, thousands of people find NHS 111
offers expert advice without the need to visit A&E.
"Over winter, when pressure on
services is at its highest, anyone in need of help for a
life-threatening emergency can continue to get help at their
A&E, but with almost a million people in the North East using
NHS 111 in the past year alone, it's clear that there are safe
alternatives to A&E for less severe issues.
"As part of the long-term plan
for the health service, the NHS in England is rapidly expanding
access to urgent and emergency care by increasing community
services, investing in the most up to date technology and improving
over the phone advice. This means that more people get the right
care, at the right time while reducing the pressure on ambulance
and A&E services."
Members of the public called the
NHS 111 service in England over 1.3 million times in October, an
increase of 6% compared with the same time last year. 38,500 people
received help via the phone line each day last month, contributing
to the total of around 16.5 million calls to 111 in the past twelve
The most recent patient survey
results from the service also suggest 111 is beginning to ease the
pressure on frontline services.
More than one in four people
said they would have gone to A&E and 16% said they would have
called an ambulance had 111 not been available.
Sue Tucker, Head of Emergency
Operations Centre at North East Ambulance Service, who operate the
111 service in the North East said: "NHS 111 is much more than a
helpline. You can speak to fully trained advisors available 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, who can put you in touch with relevant
healthcare professionals, including nurses, paramedics, emergency
dentists, or even GPs.
"People should continue to dial
999 in a medical emergency - when someone is seriously ill or
injured and their life is at risk."
Published 14th November
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham