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NHS 111 pilot – NHS Direct’s response

A Pulse investigation reveals that eight of nine serious untoward incidents in NHS 111 pilots were at sites run by NHS Direct. Here is NHS Direct’s response in full.

Tricia Hamilton, Chief Nurse, NHS Direct

‘NHS Direct takes a prudent approach to identifying incidents for review which could generate learning and improvement. When a concern is raised we listen to the call and undertake an incident review involving experienced clinical staff. This allows us toidentify clear actions so that lessons can be learnt and acted on quickly and thoroughly. NHS 111 is a new service, using a new system. As with any new service, you would expect to see incidents being identified and reviewed as part of continuous improvement. This is the sign that the service is learning and developing as experience is accumulated.  We believe that no patient harm came as a direct consequence of staffs’ actions in the incidents we reported.’

‘NHS Direct believes that a partnership model with local GP out of hours providers and ambulance trusts to deliver the NHS 111 service provides an effective, clinical model of delivery. This will ensure there is sufficient capacity across providers to answer the number of calls that could come through NHS 111 once nationally rolled out. Health and Nurse Advisors in NHS Direct have been providing remotely delivered health care for 12 years, both on the telephone and web. We now have over 12 months’ experience of delivering the NHS 111 pilots.’