Local Healthwatch seeks public feedback on NHS 111 to help the service improve

  Posted: 13.09.21 at 10:05 by The Editor

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A new public survey has been launched to find out more about local people’s experiences of using the NHS 111 service in the region.

111 is the NHS non-emergency number. When you call 111 you speak to a telephone adviser, supported by healthcare professionals (nurses or paramedics). They ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms which allows them to direct you to the best medical care for your needs. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with calls free from landlines and mobile phones. NHS 111 is also available as an online service: 111.nhs.uk.

Devon Doctors is the lead provider for urgent care in the region, offering 24/7 access to urgent care services including NHS 111 and Out-of-hours services in the South West.

Healthwatch, the local consumer champion for health and social care services, will once again be independently collating public feedback from anyone who has recently used the NHS 111 service in the Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay areas.

In Winter 2020/21 local Healthwatch in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay conducted a similar public survey and published a report which showed that the accuracy and quality of the service people received was not consistent, despite many people rating their experience highly. At the time, Devon Doctors supported recommendations made in the report, and said it would help shape an improvement plan to address public concerns.

Local Healthwatch have joined forces again to launch a follow up survey to see if improvements have been made, and to ensure that the people using the NHS 111 service have their say on the way it is delivered to them. All responses will be anonymous, and the information provided will be used to inform a new joint Healthwatch report which will be shared with NHS 111 and the health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Healthwatch online survey runs from 13 September to 24 October 2021. It only takes a few minutes to complete, and can be found by clicking HERE : the survey site

Members of the public can also speak to their local Healthwatch directly to share their experience of NHS 111 or receive support completing the survey. For Healthwatch Somerset call Freephone 0800 999 1286, or for Healthwatch Devon, Plymouth and Torbay call Freephone 0800 520 0640.

Chair of the Healthwatch Somerset Board
Judith Goodchild, said: "Understanding people’s experiences of using vital health and care services such as NHS 111, allows us to highlight where there are areas for improvement as well as areas of strength. By sharing this insight with those responsible for commissioning and delivering services, we can drive positive change and improve standards of care. Your feedback really will make a difference to the quality of the local NHS 111 service and to people’s lives, so do please share your views with us by completing our survey or contacting your local Healthwatch."

A spokesperson for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) commented: "Local Healthwatch in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay are working in partnership with CQC to invite members of the public to tell us what they think of the services provided by Devon Doctors. Their views and experiences will help CQC inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the services provided by in the future. People are being encouraged to tell the team about their experiences of services provided by Devon Doctors in the past year and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future."

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