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To think NHS 111 is a fucking joke?

(133 Posts)
NillyNolly Sat 30-Mar-13 07:59:26

I have had the misfortune of experiencing the new NHS 111 service three times in the last week. One of my DC has a compromised immune system so often need out of hours appointments.

Before the 111 service I could call our local out of hours service who would answer straight away, listen to a brief description of symptoms, then make a doctors appointment or get a nurse to call us back. Simple.

With 111 I have waited an average of 20 mins for someone to pick up each time, had to go through all mine and my DS's details about 3 times, then had to answer a series of questions which takes a further 10 minutes ("is he breathing?" ..... Ummm, do you not think I would have perhaps called an ambulance by now if he wasn't....?)

I am so angry and frustrated with this new phone line!!! angry !!!!

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 30-Mar-13 11:06:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Sat 30-Mar-13 11:13:11

Its a new service so I would well imagine there will be teething problems.

From what I can see on this thread is that people have issues with the response time, tbh I do see a problem with a 30+ waiting time, after all it is a non medical emergency number, this co exists with OOH, and walk in centres, and during times GP surgeries. That is so much more than most countries have.

I agree, neighbourhood, I'm more intreasted in how by affects the emergency services, to someone who is complaining about a service who helps us just because they have to answer question or be on the phone a hour, if as I said it was a emergency then A&E is your next step or call for a ambulance if needed, surely thisbisnall common sense.

This country and many people in it, want everything NOW, and that's where the problem lays!

Altinkum Sat 30-Mar-13 11:13:51

Don't see a problem with 30+!min waiting time...

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 30-Mar-13 11:17:31

YANBU. I called for my 10mth old ds a couple of nights ago around 2am because he had been screaming for over an hour, his breathing was raggy and because we've had a problem with leaking drains at home (long, long story!) I was panicking that he'd been exposed to something nasty. They told me it sounded like he needed to be seen by a GP in the next couple of hours and that someone would call back to schedule an appointment. Did we hear from them? Did we buggery. Thankfully ds settled with cuddles and his temperature came back down to normal after a dose of Calprofen, but I am still furious that the callback never happened.

blondieminx Sat 30-Mar-13 11:19:23

Tbh this is all the thin end of the wedge. The cuts and privatising of our NHS is only just beginning.

Rather than using NHS feedback stuff you all need to put your complaints in writing to your MP find their contact details here and to local newspapers.

We should be making a lot of noise about this...

toboldlygo Sat 30-Mar-13 11:34:46

The problem with the 30 minute+ waiting time is that, despite first having to listen to messages like "if you're calling about a life-threatening emergency, hang up now and dial 999" we still get a small but significant number of callers who are experiencing things like heart attacks and strokes. Usually it's elderly people who 'just don't want to be a bother, but I've got this beastly crushing pain in my chest...' who have called their GP practice number and been redirected to the OOH service.

The OOH I work for (a non-profit GP co-operative) picks up in less than five minutes - calls like the above are passed straight to the ambulance service, urgent calls marked as such and triaged by a doctor within 20 minutes, routine calls dealt with within one hour. Even the splinters and stubbed toes.

111 could take anything up to 24 hours to do the same (their callback options include a mind boggling 24 hour response as well as 2/4/6 hours) and if they decide that the patient needs to be seen in person by a doctor, after sitting on the call for four or six hours, they bloody well redirect it to us to send one of our local GPs out anyway. We could have dealt with it hours before. The problem being, of course, that most people won't wait for 111 to pull their finger out and will either call 999 or contribute to the eight hour wait in A&E that happened a couple of weeks ago in one of our local hospitals.

toboldlygo Sat 30-Mar-13 11:38:05

And, of course, a significant number of OOH provider staff have been made redundant as a result of 111, who seem to have recruited the most brainless examples of call centre staff they could find and not enough of them anyway.

nicelyneurotic Sat 30-Mar-13 11:43:41

I had the misfortune of using this today. A woman mumbled her way through a script. Losing her place and asking the same question two or three times. It was clear she hadn't listened to a thing I had said at the start and then proceeded to read out medical advice for babies aged under 12 weeks. I reminded her my baby was four months, but she said she had to read it out anyway. Wasted about an hour of my time.

In the end I was put through to a nurse, then called back by a doctor who said I could go to a medical centre without an appointment and sit and wait, which I could have done to start with. While I was on the phone my husband went to a pharmacy and got much better advice.

nicelyneurotic Sat 30-Mar-13 11:48:14

Toboldlygo - brainless call centre staff is exactly what I experienced. I dread to think of the harm this line will cause.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hawkmoth Sat 30-Mar-13 11:59:39

This was not the public launch. GPs just changed the message on their answering machines and NHS Direct had an automated message in the affected areas telling people to dial 111 instead.

CandidaDoyle Sat 30-Mar-13 13:10:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Sat 30-Mar-13 15:45:17

Annie, in that case for palative care why wouldn't the 24/7 emergency duty care team not be called out?

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:51:01

shock picked up from your house and taken back again! wow

last time I had ooh doctor I had to get both dc up and drive there myself - this sounds a good service if they pick you up

Meerkatwhiskers Sat 30-Mar-13 17:24:24

I'm a student nurse and on placement in a&e at the moment. Was chatting to sine paramedics last night. I'm in the south east and in our area 111 is run by the ambulance trust with ex NHS direct telephone operators.

They said the way the questions are worded mean that most of the time an ambulance ends up being despatched and their call out rate has gone up threefold. A third of the 111 patients they see so not need to go to hospital and just need to see a GP so they are wasted callouts. We only saw 1 patient admitted from the service last night (although it was a very quiet night). And that was with an asthma attack which she would have been very justified calling 999 for.

Meerkatwhiskers Sat 30-Mar-13 17:26:03

*some. iPad gremlins dammit.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sat 30-Mar-13 17:37:40

Just another money saving exercise that has fucked the system up, the computer system simply doesn't work and calls aren't handled quick enough

bigbluebus Sat 30-Mar-13 17:56:57

111 failed in my area, after 2 days, and calls have reverted back to the OOH service "for the forseeable future". I was dreading the implementation of 111 as my DD has severe learning disability and complex health needs. She cannot talk or indicate where she is in pain - I just know when she is in pain and have to guess what might be wrong. SHe can go downhill very quickly. No computerised system in the land is going to triage my DD effectively.

We used to have open access to local hospital childrens ward, so if I knew there was something significant wrong I could just take her straight there. Now she is 18, so we are beholden to the OOH/111/NHS direct (whatever happens to be in place at the time.) I seriously fear it may be the death of her. We have already had one foray to A&E since she was 18 (as it was the only option - GP actually told us to go there). We went at 9.00am on a Wednesday morning - I thought it would be quiet. It was full by 11.00am and we breached their 4 hr target!
The NHS is in meltdown.

captainbarnacle Sat 30-Mar-13 18:02:23

Me: I've been told by the dental services to ring NHS direct to find out the specific phone number of an appointment only specialist paediatric dentist for ds1. It's not googleable and I've lost the appointment card.
NHSDirect: is he with you?
Me: no, he's at school
NHS: is he breathing?
Me: he's at school. I just need to see if you have the number on the database
NHS: what postcode is the address he is currently at?
Me: I don't know, it's just down the road.
NHS: I need the postcode
Me: errr... Just say he's here. Now, the phone number.....
NHS: I can't say he's with you, you just told me he's at school. What's his date of birth? His GP? His ethnicity?
Me: good grief. It doesn't matter. Are you able to provide me with any information?
NHS: no.
<puts phone down>

Iwantmybed Sat 30-Mar-13 20:00:47

DH phoned 111 about our DD 6mo who woke with breathing difficulties completely out of the blue on Thurs night. I wanted to take her to A&E as her airway wasn't clear. They told us a GP would call us back within a few hrs. Thankfully she calmed down and could sleep but I had her in with me just in case. We had no call back. sad I'm not particularly impressed by this service.

girliefriend Sat 30-Mar-13 20:21:46

This new service really depresses me I am a community nurse and have heard nothing but bad experiences reported from the patients. Totally 100% agree with Annies comment re palliative patients, I realised as well that if a patient passed away (expectedly) and needed a Dr to come and verify death their poor family would have the added stress of having to go through 111 angry

We had a good system in my area up until now and once again it feels like something is being 'fixed' that wasn't broken.

Gossipmonster Sat 30-Mar-13 20:59:17

I have been waiting for 8 minutes now for someone to answer the FUCKING PHONE!!!!!

BeaWheesht Sat 30-Mar-13 21:04:51

Haven't read the whole thread but it sounds exactly like what we've had in Scotland for ages?

gaelicsheep Sat 30-Mar-13 21:08:08

What was NHS Direct then if not this? Apart from the out of hours things, which as BeaWheesht says has been common in Scotland for years as part of NHS24. I won't say I've always been thrilled by that, but wasn't thrilled by English out of hours services either. Is NHS 111 just for out of hours care, or is it replacing NHS Direct?

Sunnywithshowers Sat 30-Mar-13 21:22:20

111 sounds bloody awful. I had a good service from NHS Direct; they even sent an ambulance round when I had a huge asthma attack.

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