"Had to tell my medical history to the call handler who is not medically trained"

About: Harmoni / NHS 111

(as a service user),

I think the 111 system is good in principle, but when I call I find it confusing when finding out where you are in the south east.

When I called I had to explain my conditions (heart failure and diabetes), all the medication I am on and my history to the call handler who is not medically trained. I had a new symptom and did not know whether it was one of my conditions or some of the medication I was on causing it.

I do not want to be told to call back, I want a doctor to come out and see me and preferably be from my own surgery. Someone that understands my health issues and had access to my notes.

Now I think that if I feel like that again I would not call 111 but go to A&E, even if I had to wait 20 hours, because it would mean I would get to see a nurse or doctor.

I think it's dangerous for members of the public not medically trained to describe what is wrong with them over the phone.

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Response from Amanda Mayo, NHS 111 Service Director, Harmoni

Thank you for taking the time to post your views on this website.

NHS111 is designed to provide a comprehensive, consistent assessment for any caller, anywhere in England. The Health Advisor's who initially take your call have some medical training and have been comprehensively assessed under exam conditions to be able to manage all calls. If they consider that a call is not within their competence the call can be easily and seamlessly passed to a clinician who can then manage the call further and advise the caller to approach the most appropriate health care provider for their needs or offer clinical advice for home management.

On occasion a caller will be transferred to the Out of Hours provider or their own GP for further help and advice.

I am sorry that you feel an attendance at A and E is the most appropriate care pathway for your condition. You may find it helpful for your GP to provide a letter to the NHS111 service in your area to alert them to your clinical needs and this will then ensure that care is more easily tailored to your specific needs.

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