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to think the 111 system needs changing

(16 Posts)
lemisscared Tue 16-Dec-14 09:44:44

Having an unqualified person going through a list of questions on the computer that doesn't allow for a common sense decision is just not working.

This has happened to me twice now.

Last night ooh dentist phone lines were down. We called hospital reception was advised to ring 111 to give me an appointment.

Called 111. Omg the palaver. Irrelevant questions. Obv their computer said no emergency treatment required. hmm i was sobbing in agony. Finally after i told the operator id taken ibuprofen when im not supposed to that i got through to a nurse. She told me to go to A&e shock for a tooth ache!!

At that point i decided just to chance my arm at the ooh dentist which just happens to be at the hosp but is strictly appointment only. Tried their phones on the way over and was finally given an appointment. This was at 10pm.

Had to have emergency root canal treatment and a shed load of antibiotics.

I was given an appointment no quibble.

Previously, my mother had a addisons crisis. I recognise the symptoms and caught early its take to hospital in car but can quickly go to blue light job. Again the situation where operator is unable to make a common sense decision but follow stupid computer protocol. Resulting in me giving up and calling 999.

Its not the operator fault they have to follow protocol but it doesn't allow for out of the ordinary situations.

Dental emergency isnt 111 job but was told they would fax appointment through but it confused their computer and it said no. Cough

DefiniteMaybe Tue 16-Dec-14 09:48:12

When I've used the 111 system it has worked very well for us.
Both times I've phoned have been for dp and we just needed to know the best place to be treated. Both times he was advised to go to the walk in gp and both times that was the right advice.
Maybe it only really works for slightly urgent but non emergency ailments.

KingJoffreysHasABigWhiteBeard Tue 16-Dec-14 09:51:59

Oh, it's fucking shit!

I work nights in a nursing home with one other staff member and if we have a problem we've got 111 and google.

111 ask the stupidest most pointless questions. It's shocking. No common sense, none at all.

And 90% of the time they send a paramedic anyway...

I detest that 'service'. It's proper crap.

lemisscared Tue 16-Dec-14 09:53:24

It works if it is straight forward but anything out of the ordinary buggers the system. The dentaline phones were down. The advice is to call 111. Despite them being aware of the issue the assessment protocol was different and advised incorrectly. The ooh dental receptionist was so kind and said she had similar problems all night.

RoastingYourChestnutsHurtsAlot Tue 16-Dec-14 10:08:22

They're rubbish

I rung up with stomach issues they said non emergency next thing I know an ambulance is at my door. Turns out they'd put the phone down felt it was actually urgent and called 999. It wasn't 999 urgent but was ooh urgent

IncaAztec Tue 16-Dec-14 10:26:51

I agree. I rang with an ill baby to be told there was no doctor available in the area, then was told that yes, there was a doctor but he was on home visits so too busy to see me. There are no walk-in centres in this area, apparently no ooh go cover either. No wonder people end up at a&e!

lemisscared Tue 16-Dec-14 10:28:09

I think you have hit the nail on the head there roasting, before you either rang your local OOH operator if you wanted to see a Dr out of hours or you rang 999 if it was an emergency that required an ambulance.

111 seems to exist somewhere in the middle and im not sure its working, so you might end up with scenarios where folk aren't getting seen that need seen and ambulances being sent for people that don't need them.

Another incident was with my friend who had a temp spike during chemo, was advised had to go to hospital if this happened. Phoned clinic, they had to receive her via a&E so advised to call 111, was on the phone to 111 so long trying to explain shit that clinic in the mean time called friend back on her mobile asking where the fuck she was and had sent an ambulance hmm All in the meantime the operator going through the symptoms of meningitis shock

Last night i was asked if i was suffering from depression - err, yeah, but at that moment in time toothace was my problem!!

Lucyccfc Tue 16-Dec-14 10:32:57

You only need to ask a paramedic if 111 is working!

My sister is a paramedic and the amount of pointless call-outs they get for non-urgent situations has gone up ten-fold since the inception of 111.

Allisgood1 Tue 16-Dec-14 11:20:12

Knock on wood they've been fab for us so far.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StripedCandycaneOss Tue 16-Dec-14 12:24:41

i wont use it, we have out own OOH here which is located at the local hospital, so i always use them.. if they feel its an emergency, they just take you straight through to A&E or get you admitted. (like they did with me when my back pain turned out to be Renal Colic/Kidney Stones)

MrsMaker83 Tue 16-Dec-14 13:34:38

It is shite. I rang when my dp had immense pain and severe flu type symptoms.

They asked 497530000 questions, some of which appeared completely irrelevant, then suggested paracetamol hmm

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 16-Dec-14 13:54:45

I got really exasperated on one occasion and told the operator my veterinary degree ( which entitles me to treat humans in certain situations) trumped her computer.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RachelWatts Tue 16-Dec-14 14:31:16

The only time I used them they were brilliant. DS2 had bronchiolitis, which had been diagnosed by the GP. I was told to take him back to the GP if he got worse.

Unfortunately it was Christmas Day when he got worse so I phoned 111.

Their script told them that a baby with breathing difficulties needed an ambulance, which on any other day would have been overkill, but on Christmas Day, A&E was the only place where he would be seen and get the treatment he needed.

cailindana Tue 16-Dec-14 14:52:24

I think the best time to use it is if something has happened and you think you're in that halfway place between deciding to wait and deciding to see someone. It's true that they ask silly questions first but then if there seems to be something up they'll put you on to an experienced nurse who'll tackle your individual problem. For example, once I injured my eye and wasn't sure what to do, so rang them and they advised me that there was an eye A and E at the local hospital and that I should go to that. I would never have known that if I hadn't talked to them. Another time I had pretty bad stomach pains but the nurse was able to glean that there was nothing serious going on so said to hang on in there and ring again/go to A and E if it got worse. Was good advice. Yet another time my DD had a rash and because the nurse thought it sounded like an allergic reaction she arranged an appointment at a different GP as my one was closed. It was nothing in the end but the GP was happy I had it checked out.

As for common sense, it's the people ringing who should exercise that. There's absolutely no point in ringing 111 if someone is worryingly sick - just call 999. If the questions seem irrelevant and you're getting desperate, say that, hang up and ring 999. If you are fairly poorly but could wait until the GP opens, then don't ring at all. If your child seems very ill, don't hang about, straight to OOH or A and E. Breathing problems, chest pains, stroke symptoms, A and E.

There's only so much a person on the other end of the phone can do. If they can't help then go to the next level.

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