This Healthwatch Lincolnshire Report aims to provide a summary of the understanding, awareness and use by the public of NHS 111 in Lincolnshire. The NHS 111 service is currently provided for Lincolnshire residents by DHU HealthCare along with the Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) which is delivered by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). For more information about these services please visit NHS 111 - DHU Health Care and https://www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk/our-services/urgent-care
Our findings suggest that there is a good overall awareness of the NHS 111 service and that the majority of people who have used NHS 111 feel they have received a good service. However, there is not such a good understanding of the range of services NHS 111 provides and concerns have been raised about the quality of service received in some cases, particularly in relation to the time taken to respond and the questions asked. With more people being asked to call NHS 111 as a first port of call , this is a concern.
Our findings also suggest the importance of awareness of the NHS 111 service and patient experience and satisfaction, both for the health outcomes of individual patients and helping to relieve the pressures placed on Accident and Emergency, Primary Care and 999 services.
- Healthwatch will offer to support the providers and commissioners raise awareness of NHS 111 service and include the full range of services NHS 111 and CAS provides. This may include helping the service to distribute leaflets and posters in community and health settings across Lincolnshire and using social media. We have identified this would be particularly useful within the older persons age groups.
Healthwatch will use our watchdog role check to ascertain that providers of the NHS 111 service and CAS are using a variety of communication methods to ensure equality across Lincolnshire e.g., Easy Read, different languages.
Where Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reviews the NHS 111 service and CAS in preparation for recommission of this service, Healthwatch expectation is that any review should include checking to ensure the CCG is completing an ‘in-depth’ review of waiting times, service satisfaction, examining the causes of the long waits, and reviewing what actions could be taken to mitigate these and to improve the patient experience. If required Healthwatch can support or provide this in-depth review.