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NHS 111 to scrap complicated call summaries 'as soon as possible'

Exclusive: NHS England has decided to ditch the complicated NHS 111 call summaries in favour of a simplified system following serious concerns from GPs, Pulse has learned.

Talks are currently underway with NHS 111 commissioners to ensure that new-look simplified reports can be ‘universally adapted as soon as possible’, NHS England said.

The move follows complaints from GPs that they are having to wade through nine-page reports from NHS 111 providers after patients call the troubled helpline, with some practices having to even devote a staff member to looking at the summaries.

GP leaders said it was essential that the new summaries were implemented as soon as possible as the current system is a danger to patient safety.

The call summaries are sent to a practice every time a patient contacts NHS 111. Although practices do not always have to act on the reports, GPs have warned that they list reams of ‘irrelevant’ data and that key clinical information is often hard to spot.

A spokesperson for NHS England told Pulse: ‘We have constantly sought the views of practitioners and commissioners in relation to NHS 111, and we have acted quickly in response to comments on the complexity of post-event messaging communications.’

‘NHS England has worked with GPs and other clinicians to develop a new, simplified system and we are liaising with all NHS 111 commissioners to ensure it is universally adopted as soon as possible. We thank commissioners and clinicians for their continued collaboration with local, regional and national partners to make NHS 111 the very best it can be.’

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the GPC, said that while the GPC had not yet seen the new-look reports, the revamp was ‘essential’.

He said: ‘The sooner they get on and do it and refine it to a report that is useful for practices the better.’

‘The information that goes through to practices through NHS 111 is extremely unhelpful, very verbose and long and potentially dangerous, because it provides so much information that you miss the important points within it that are clinically valuable.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Peter Swinyard

    I think the use of the phrase " post-event messaging communications." says it all. I'd call them reports. Verbose??? Surely not!

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  • The quality of the NHS 111 reports have been grotesque: you could not design something worse. That this should have been implemented, on a national scale, indicates that the planners are remarkably incompetent and that they are using a very faulty project planning methodology. http://bit.ly/14N5X9i

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  • i'm sure Pathways provide different versions of reports GPs could receive, i remember seeing it on a bulletin http://tinyurl.com/pyasa3r
    contact your commissioner to get the one you want

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  • About time. Now can they fix the 15+ pages we get from A+E attendances?

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  • 'Adapted or 'ADOPTED'??

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  • Kadiyali Srivatsa

    I have attended various meetings organised by IT companies involved in innovation of tele-care and tele-mediciine since 1990s.

    The main problem that has occurred is because the people who are involved in R&D cannot understand it is not possible to replicate a service.

    In 1996, pre-printed assessment sheet was produced and tested. This has caused more problem than good.

    The verbose will be long and potentially dangerous and miss the important points within it that are clinically useful. I feel sad because the politicians are wasting money on a project that is not focused on patient care, safety.

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  • It is now 13 months since I asked them to do this at the NHS 111 Implementation Board and I was promised this for February 2013!

    If I ran my practice like this i would get struck off

    Peter Holden GPC 111 lead

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  • This is a very welcome move, we hardly need to know an 80 year old lady is not pregnant!

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  • I think NHS111 style is infectious. Instead of a personal referral letter from the GP, we increasingly get 9 page print-outs from the practice continuing every cervical smear and flu jab of the last 15 years, and the presenting problem is hidden in the consultation summary on page 7. Last week, one actually included a covering letter, but as this unfortunately read in full: 'please see and do the needful' it wasn't much help. Thanks guys!!

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