NHS 111 service concerns

Concerns have been raised over the new NHS 111 service in the region after a man from County Durham had a bad experience. Figures released today say that 92% of callers were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS 111 experience in the last year.

Full Report: Concerns raised about NHS 111 service

A man from County Durham has said that he will never use the NHS non-emergency 111 number again.

Brian Sowerby called the 111 number after getting a serious lung infection - but says his condition worsened as he was kept on the phone for 45 minutes.

The helpline was first launched in County Durham and Darlington in 2010 before being rolled out across the North East in April.

Watch the full report from Frances Read below.

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111 disappointment case: NHS statement

Brian Sowerby from County Durham has been speaking to ITV News about his disappointment that he was failed by the NHS 111 service.

He rang the 111 telephone number after a serious lung infection made it difficult for him to breathe, but says that he was questioned for 45 minutes - before he hung up.

He also says that a paramedic did not arrive for an hour.

A spokesperson from the region’s 12 clinical commissioning groups, who commission the NHS 111 and ambulance service for the North East, have released the following statement in response to Mr Sowerby's complaint.

"We are really sorry that Mr Sowerby did not feel he received a good service from the local NHS.

"We hope that Mr Sowerby’s condition has improved and he is feeling better. If he wishes to have the incident looked at more formally, we would advise Mr Sowerby to contact either the ambulance service or his local clinical commissioning group who can respond to him personally.

"As commissioners of these services we welcome any feedback and would always undertake a review of concerns that are raised by patients and the public. "

County Durham man let down by NHS 111 service

A man from County Durham says he'll never use the NHS's non-emergency 111 number again saying he feels let down by the service.

Brian Sowerby rang the 111 telephone number after a serious lung infection made it difficult for him to breathe.

However, he says he was asked questions for 45 minutes and that a paramedic did not arrive for an hour.

Brian Sowerby has major concerns about the 111 service after he was let down Credit: ITV News

Leading doctors warned last month that the introduction of the service meant that patients do not know where to turn to help.

Health officials say that the NHS advice line is steadily improving and highly rated by the majority of people who use it. The advice is still to ring 999 in an emergency.

The NHS 111 service was launched as a non-emergency number Credit: ITV News

NHS 111 advice line 'steadily improving'

The new non-emergency NHS advice line is "steadily improving" health officials have said, after publishing new figures today.

But the number is still experiencing teething problems, with 66,000 of the 514,000 calls answered in April taking more than a minute to answer.

An NHS England spokeswoman said:

The data published today on the performance of NHS 111 in April 2013 showed the service is steadily improving and is highly rated by those who use it - 92% were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS 111 experience.

NHS 111 service figures reveal 92% callers 'satisfied'

The latest figures for the NHS England's 111 service have been published today. According to the report, for the period between April 2011 to March 2013, 92% of callers were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS111 experience.

Last month, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham criticised the service, adding that it was Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's "job to find solutions".

Read more: GPs: Government 'meddling in A&E'

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More than 80% NHS 111 calls 'answered within a minute'

More than 80% of calls to the NHS 111 service were answered within 60 seconds, according to NHS England's latest figures released today. The report found:

  • In April, there were 566,532 calls to the 111 service, with 94% (of these calls from people directly dialling 111.
  • In the same month, 87% of answered calls made to NHS111 were answered within 60 seconds. Of all calls offered 4% were abandoned after waiting longer than 30 seconds.
  • Average length of a call episode for data up to and including April was 8 minutes 09 seconds, with 79% of callers receiving a triage and 6% of answered calls called back.
  • On average 27% of call time was handled by clinical staff for all calls up to and including April.
  • For the period between April 2011 to March 2013, 92% of callers were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS111 experience.

You can read the full report here.