Analysis

How effective is the NHS 111 service?

NHS 111, the front door to the urgent care system, handles millions of calls a year, but some question its usefulness
Illustration shows a red telephone with overlapping images of the handset to show it is ringing. NHS 111, the front door to the urgent care system, handles millions of calls a year but some question its usefulness.

NHS 111, the front door to the urgent care system, handles millions of calls a year, but some question its usefulness

  • Some feel NHS 111 sends too many to emergency departments (EDs)
  • NHS England says many more would seek ED help if NHS 111 was not there
  • Integration with clinical services means there is input from clinicians

The NHS telephone health advice service NHS 111 handled more than 15 million calls in England in 2019 and that number could increase this year as people seek advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).

It has existed in its current form since 2014, delivered by 20 separate providers, from ambulance

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