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Region’s NHS 111 Service Celebrates its Second Birthday

The region’s NHS 111 service, which is run by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, is celebrating its second birthday today (5 March 2015).

Launched on 5 March 2013, NHS 111 was introduced to make it easier for patients to get medical help and advice fast when they have an urgent need which is not an emergency. The service, based at three call centres in Wakefield, Rotherham and York, is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.

The region’s service receives calls from residents in Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.  On a typical weekday, the service responds to between 2,800 and 3,100 calls per day, around 6,000 on a Saturday and just over 5,000 on a Sunday.

During December 2014 the service celebrated taking an incredible two million calls during its first 21 months of operation and recorded its busiest day ever on Saturday 27 December 2015 with 11,329 calls.

Keeley Townend, Associate Director of NHS 111 and Urgent Care Services at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Reaching our second birthday with over 2.44 million calls under our belt is a huge milestone for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS 111 Team.  We are fully committed to providing timely, safe services for callers and their families to ensure they can access appropriate advice and care 24/7.

“We are proud to be one of the best performing NHS 111 services in the country and continue to work with our local commissioners to respond appropriately to patients’ urgent care needs.”

The most common calls NHS 111 receives are for patients suffering from abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, rashes, dental-related problems or simply requiring health or medication advice.

In order to provide more specialised advice for dental and pharmacy calls, NHS 111 now employs dental nurses and pharmacists to work in the call centres at the most busy times.

In addition, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, in partnership with Local Care Direct, provides the GP Out-of-Hours care for patients in the West Yorkshire and Craven area, which also started on 5 March 2013.

As part of regular monitoring of the NHS 111 service, patient experience is independently surveyed.  In 2014, 94% of patients confirmed that they had followed the advice given and 94% agreed that they were treated with dignity and respect.

Rod Barnes, Interim Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, commented: “The NHS 111 service we are providing has been recognised by NHS England and stakeholders as one of the most successful operations in the country.  We are continuing to develop the service to manage patients’ needs effectively and ensure they receive the most appropriate care and advice.”

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department