This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

GPs go forth

NHS England launches urgent review of NHS 111

The current design of NHS 111 has been thrown into doubt after NHS England announced it is to urgently review the model used to roll it out.

In advance papers for its board meeting on Friday, NHS England also announced that it has put back the roll out of NHS 111 to the end of summer from its original target of the end of June.

The papers also said that NHS England will assess the ability of some providers to maintain delivery of NHS 111 services.

A document on the delivery of 111 said: ‘The phase will include an urgent review of the sustainability of the current model of service into 2014. The ability of some providers to maintain delivery of these services will need to be thoroughly assessed and an appraisal of the likely market of providers undertaken.’

According to the paper, NHS England expects a ‘safe roll out of 111 across England by the end of the summer’.

As part of the review, it will consider: ‘Was the original design of the service optimal to provide the best service? This will include reviewing the scope and design of the service.’

The NHS 111 service has been beset with problems since the soft launch in most areas in mid-March and over the Easter weekend. Pulse has reported that as many as 40% of calls were going unanswered in some areas while providers have had to hire more call handlers to deal with demands.

However, the NHS England document said matters have improved in the areas where the NHS 111 service has been rolled out. It said: At the time of writing, there was a vastly improved picture of NHS 111 delivery across the country when compared to late March, and the Easter bank holiday, periods.

‘Most providers are now hitting their key performance indicators (KPI) for calls abandoned of under 5%, although the target of calls answered in under 60 seconds is still a struggle for a number of providers. However, the service is still fragile in a number of areas and many have needed contingency.’

Readers' comments (4)

  • Vinci Ho

    The challenges to the system are lessening now as the weather is slowly improving . Pushing 111 through in summer is the only political answer but the workload in summer will not represent the reality . How can NHS England ensure there will be additional capacity to cope with even an average winter situation ? One can fool the public once but not twice.......

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We get stats from our local NHS 111 lead. It's a pure fantasy figure with abandoned calls of <1% and waiting time of <40 seconds. We know its a fantasy as our own patients (not talking about one or two here) are telling us they had to give up after 30 mins of repeated trying etc.

    I won't put it past this government to put a fiddled figure to fool the public. Just remind me which government was in power at the Hillsborough disaster which is now showing so many systematic lies.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 10:34 - get your numbers right please.
    - Abandoned in less than 30 seconds 95%;
    - If a call back is required by a clinician it should be < 10 minutes.
    There are clearly areas of the country where this was overwhelmed from the word go and they were switched back to NHSD or previous OOH providers.
    DH are not fiddling figures here - they require submission daily for review 12:00 Midday.
    Fiddling it it were going on would be by providers.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Correction of typo:
    - Abandoned in less than 30 seconds <5% is the KPI (but if a system is working well it is often <1%)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say