Satisfaction with the North East’s NHS111 service continues to improve despite an increase of more than 50,000 calls over the last year.
North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) randomly selects around 1,500 NHS111 callers each month to find out about their experience of using the service.
Latest feedback from September showed 91.2 per cent of patients would recommend the service to their family and friends.
Between July and September, NHS111 call handlers answered 208,674 calls – compared to 158,661 during the same period last year.
During this time, there have been a number of improvements, particularly from patients who reported feeling reassured by the service, having their problem resolved and being able to speak to a call handler straightaway.
The latest survey results come following success at the recent Bright Ideas in Health Awards.
NEAS won the Primary and Community Care category in recognition of its service that allows NHS111 call handlers to book GP appointments directly into a patient’s surgery on their behalf.
Before the GP direct booking service was available, patients who were advised to see their GP following the NHS111 assessment were expected to make an appointment themselves.
As well as the inconvenience and delay to the patient, this carried the risk of them not being able to get an appointment and subsequently calling NHS111 again or attending an urgent care centre or A&E department.
Yvonne Ormston, NEAS chief executive, said: “Members of the public often think of our service being all about 999 and emergency care, but we’re so much more than that.
“As regional provider for both NHS111 and 999, we’re able to provide a seamless and consistent service to patients across the North East.”