Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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 !!!!

Plomino Sat 30-Mar-13 21:28:09

Another crap service sufferer here . DD 1 had a middle of the night temperature of nearly 40 , and started becoming distressed and rambling . DH rang me at work , and I started coming home . It takes me about 90 mins to get home in the early hours ( albeit travelling a bit quick). He'd rung 111 straight after he'd rung me . As I walked through the front door , he was still waiting for a response . We ended up going to a and e .

BakeOLiteGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 21:40:34

NHS111 is total crap. Used it a few times the last couple of weeks. Used to be able to call out of hours dr who would either advise over phone or book an appointment. Now they keep telling me to take my child to the nearest hospital in the next four hours. For th

BakeOLiteGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 21:43:21

NHS111 is total crap. Used it a few times the last couple of weeks. Used to be able to call out of hours dr who would either advise over phone or book an appointment. Now they keep telling me to take my child to the nearest hospital in the next four hours. It's just not always necessary to clogg up the hospital with minor/but dr advice needed issues.

BakeOLiteGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 21:44:25

Obviously I mean a doctor not a time lord. Reads a bit wrong.

girliefriend Sat 30-Mar-13 21:48:39

Can everyone who has had a bad experience please please complain.

Complain to PALS, your G.P surgery, your local healthcare trust, even the local press - basically anyone as the more people complain about this the more they will have to do something about it.

Tigerbomb Sat 30-Mar-13 22:20:37

My mom is still waiting a call back from 111 after she phoned them 4 days ago

Kiriwawa Sat 30-Mar-13 22:23:14

Just to add to girlefriend's voice smile

And 111 is not the same as NHS Direct - there were nurses on the other end of the phone there. 111 is staffed by people who have been trained in what they call the algorithm (what the rest of the world would call a decision tree) BUT HAVE NO MEDICAL TRAINING.

WreckfestAtTiffanys Sat 30-Mar-13 22:53:42

I am a paramedic and from my ambulance service's pov it has been dreadful.

Calls increase massively when 111 is active, we have been stacking calls and queueing for hours at hospitals.

There were always the odd inappropriate calls from NHS Direct, but with 111 it seems to be multiple daily inappropriate 999s, and they can't be reassigned by our control (who have far more knowledge and experience), they have to be attended as a 999 even if they are obviously not an emergency.

It is driving the service and A&Es to breaking point.

MrsRogerSterling Sat 30-Mar-13 22:58:43

I called 111 tonight at 6.30pm, phone was answered in seconds and a man took all my info and said he would arrange an appointment at the out of hours surgery for my daughter. We had a call back with 30 mins and an appointment at 9.20 this evening. All good. Only confusing thing was between speaking to the man at 111 and the receptioninst at the ooh surgery with my appointment we had 2 other people call and ask me the same questions the man at 111 asked! We are now home and in possession of medicine for dd2 so as far as I'm concerned it was great.

I called them this morning for my perforated eardrum - called at 06:30ish, they referred me to OoH Doc who they said would call to book an apt within an hour. Call never came, so I rang 111 again at 8ish, and apparently the original info got lost on their system and never made it to the OoH service. They kept me on hold for 25 mins while they tried myriad numbers to get thru to OoH themselves, then gave the details verbally over the phone. That time it worked, and I got a callback from OoH within 10 mins, appointment at 11:20 - done.

I really don't see why this is a better service than calling OoH directly myself. 111 just isn't ready, their computer system can't cope.

purplewithred Sun 31-Mar-13 00:48:00

In the olden days if you wanted advice out of hours but didn't think you needed 999 then you had to choose between NHS direct and your OOH service. Unfortunately lots of people made the wrong choice and had to be redirected and start all over again, and whoever they phoned next would want to ask a bunch of different questions and maybe give contrary advice, or they got an ambulance but didn't need it, etc etc.

The theory behind 111 is that a) you don't have to choose between NHS Direct and OOH doctor and b) it uses the same triage system as 999. So the plan was for a seamless, smooth system that ensured people got the right kind of attention more often and more quickly - if you call 111 and Computer Says you need an ambulance then ambulance control won't have to ask you a bunch of new questions. If you call 111 and need OOH then they can sort out an appointment without you having to call OOH.

That's the theory.

Wingedharpy Sun 31-Mar-13 02:33:41

Well it should be fun (not) on Monday when 111 goes live for the whole of England.
Up to now it's just been functioning in specific areas in order to pilot it and iron out the problems - only all the problems haven't been ironed out so God knows what will happen.
Whoever made the decision to go live with this on Easter Monday should be shot.
The Easter hols are one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) times of the year for the GP OOH service.
I predict chaos and bedlam.

Darkesteyes Sun 31-Mar-13 02:41:13

This goes live on Easter Monday????? How fucking stupid is that.

Wingedharpy Sun 31-Mar-13 03:04:46

Surely it can't have anything to do with the new financial year - can it?

80sMum Sun 31-Mar-13 03:10:52

When my DCs were little, the OOH service was provided by the GPs from the practice, who were on call on a rota basis. Back then, most people I knew had never used the service and I only used it once. Nobody wanted to call out a GP in the middle of the night unless absolutely necessary. I followed the advice given by Penelope Leach, which said that you should only consider calling the on-call Dr if the problem was such that if the OOH Dr service didn't exist you would take the child to A&E.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sun 31-Mar-13 03:54:53

I called 111 tonight and was impressed with the service and the speed in which the OOH doctor called (about 15 mins I think). However, I also called NHSD last spring for DS and they were great too so not sure, but have my suspicions, why they have changed it.

VicsterB Sun 31-Mar-13 13:41:18

I called 111 last Friday and was in a queue for maybe 5 minutes before I got through. My main hope is that they sort out the queuing system. Useful to have an estimated time till answer or an option to be called back when you're at the front of the queue. Anyway the service seemed pretty similar to NHSDirect once I did get through. I would imagine they would have the same model for service. Perhaps slightly less compassion from the person I spoke to, compared with my memories of NHSDirect, but I guess they're under stress with a queue of callers. Hope the service improves for us all quickly as we could really use a service we can trust when we're in panic or ill ourselves!

toboldlygo Sun 31-Mar-13 14:15:18

It doesn't go live here on Monday, we've been asked to take the service back for a few weeks as 111 collapsed on day two of the pilot. And yes, it's extremely busy this weekend, only second to Boxing Day.

A great majority of the calls last night weren't the slightest bit urgent, coughs and colds of several days duration or prescriptions running out but they wait until a bank holiday weekend to try and contact a GP... angry

Worth it for the few urgents (and, of course, all the above received a timely call back with advice anyway). And I'm infinitely more confident in our ability to handle the volume as compared to 111, despite having made a percentage of the call handling staff redundant as a result of the supposed launch. I should point out that our call handlers are also not medically trained, except in being able to spot things that require a 999 response and basic triage into urgent/non urgent categories - the difference is that we have an array of local GPs sat next to us and at any point we can snag them for advice on how to proceed or even transfer the patient straight through to them if necessary. This will not be possible with 111.

OxfordBags Sun 31-Mar-13 14:21:46

I had to ring 111 this week, and was shocked and annoyed at how crap it was. Ds was ill in the small hours and I was exhausted and ill myself. Took ages to get through and then they kept asking for all sorts of trivial details I couldn't give off the top of my head (no, I don't fucking know the postcode of my GP's surgery at 2am, FFS, and how does it help my child right now?!). Then, without allowing me to explain anything about the situation, they went through the meningitis symptom check. Now, this is v important, but I knew it wasn't that. Then, when I did try to explain his problems, they kept shutting me up, saying they'd grasped it, when they did not have all the details, and again, kept asking me meningitis-symptom questions in relation to the facts I was allowed to give them.

I waited ages for a phone back and when they did, they had my son's age wrong by 10 yrs, and kept calling him by the first part of his double-barrelled surname instead of his first name. They just said I had to take him to an assessment centre and would send a car. I pointed out that his problem was due to an illness affecting him only as he slept, so that it was fairly pointless to have him seen when he was awake and not displaying the problem, and I just needed some advice over the phone. The nurse cursed under her breath, then I was passed onto another woman who yelled at me and told me I'd be 'no better than a child abuser' if I didn't get him seen. It was like they had some sort of 'enforcer' on hand!

I put the phone down on her and rang 111 to make a complaint. Within 20 mins, two nurses rang to apologise and the first one gave me the actually very simple (which I didn't realise when I rang) advice and reassurance. The car to take us to the centre did arrive anyway, at 4am, and there was no child seat in it, so would've been useless anyway.

Not impressed.

Methe Sun 31-Mar-13 14:22:14

Kiriwawa

"And 111 is not the same as NHS Direct - there were nurses on the other end of the phone there. 111 is staffed by people who have been trained in what they call the algorithm (what the rest of the world would call a decision tree) BUT HAVE NO MEDICAL TRAINING."

Sorry but that's just no correct. There are nurses... The same nurses, the same staff, using the same system.

creamteas Sun 31-Mar-13 14:49:09

Methe not necessarily. 111 went to tender regionally.

In some areas it is the same staff, in others it is call-centre workers with a few weeks training.

For example here

theodorakisses Sun 31-Mar-13 16:59:03

What is wrong with being ill and seeing a doctor unless it is all about cost? By all means let a nurse triage the cases but I can't imagine putting my babies life in their hands.

Tigerbomb Sun 31-Mar-13 19:55:52

you get a car come to pick you up with the 111 service?

Gottalovecosta Sun 31-Mar-13 22:49:27

It's a disgrace. My mum was unwell last week, in a lot of pain. I ring to ring OOH Dr's, to be put through to 111, who asked me questions about her having a stroke/heart attack that were totally irrelevant. In the end (about 20 mins later) he said he'd get a nurse to ring back, with a wait of up to 2 hours. I just wanted an appt with the OOH Dr! I vocalised this to him and he was very helpful, but seemed surprised we'd actually want to see a Dr. In the end my sister took her to A&E where she was admitted and is still in a ward now a week on.
Pitiful. I read in the local paper A&E visits were up 40% in the first week - it's just going to get worse with such a dreadful service.

OxfordBags Sun 31-Mar-13 22:52:25

Tigerbomb, I was very WTF about them sending a car; I think she said something about them usually having some sort of mini van or small ambulance or similar, but to be honest, I was so fucking tired and ill myself and so pissed off that they had woken us up needlessly after the pick-up had been cancelled and we wouldn't have been able to get in anyway, that I wasn't fully taking in what the driver was saying.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now