Namrata Prakash, Yatri Shah and Bharti Chadha followed NHS advice and called 111 when they needed urgent non-life-threatening medical help. They discovered that NHS 111 is much more than a helpline. They were able to speak to fully trained advisors who are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and put straight through to relevant healthcare professionals, depending on their situation.
Namrata said “I’ve used NHS 111 numerous times and have always had a positive experience. Most recently I called when my son was feeling unwell with a stomach ache. I spoke to a call handler who asked a few questions about my son’s symptoms and gave me some advice on how to treat it. I was also advised to call back if my son’s condition didn’t improve which was very reassuring as the symptoms persisted. When I called back they arranged a call-back with an out of hours GP. The GP called me 10 mins later and arranged an appointment. All this happened without me needing to leave my home.”
Yatri used NHS 111 for the first time earlier this year and has now used the service a few times since. She said “The first time I called 111 I didn’t really know what to expect but I was surprised at how quickly the call handler was able to arrange an appointment at Northwick Park Hospital at around 2am, after my daughter who was only 4 months at the time had been vomiting – 6 times within 4 hours. She was successfully treated which was a huge relief.”
The second time I called was when my daughter had really bad nappy rash. This time the call handler arranged for a midwife to call me back. She called within 10 mins and gave me advice which helped ease the rash.
Because the service is so good, I now call 111 for all urgent medical concerns not just for my daughter but other family members too. It’s such an efficient service that can really help save NHS resources if people called 111 for urgent non-life threatening medical help instead of rushing to A&E.”
Bharti arrived in the UK a year ago and has used the NHS 111 service for both her daughters aged 7 weeks and 4 years old at least three times. She said “The first time we called 111 was for my 4-year-old daughter who was having urinary problems. We explained the symptoms to the call handler who then arranged an appointment at an out of hours clinic at a local hospital with because it was late and our GP surgery was closed. She was seen by a doctor who ran some tests and successfully treated her for a urinary infection.”
I’m really thankful for NHS 111, it’s a brilliant service. The call handlers are very calm and patient even when I’ve been panicking, especially when my new born baby was unwell.”