"111 service wasting a lot of time"
Posted by Jane R (as ),
I had an accident on a Friday which resulted in a graze to my face. On Saturday morning I could see it had become infected & I sought advice from a pharmacist. He advised me that I may need antibiotics and a tetanus injection. He told me to ring my surgery (West Green Medical Centre) and follow the telephone advice. This directed me to 111. I rang 111 and explained the situation to the operator who told me I would be rung back shortly. They rang within 30 minutes and I explained again.
This person said I would be rung back within an hour and If this didn't happen I should call the 111 line again. I waited 2 hours & called again. I was on hold for 15 minutes listening to a message about a high volume of calls. When I finally got to speak to someone they said I should expect a 3 hour wait for call back as there was a high volume of calls. This should have been explained either by the second person I spoke to or through the hold message. Someone finally rang about 15 minutes later and I explained my symptoms again.
He gave me an out of hours appointment at the Haringey Laurels surgery. He never asked about whether I had an up to date tetanus. I saw the GP 15 minutes after my appointment. She gave me antibiotics but told me she couldn't give a tetanus and advised me to go as soon as possible to a walk in clinic to get it. If the third 111 person had asked about the tetanus or checked whether the GP could provide it, he could have directed me to a walk in clinic in the first place and saved a huge waste of time. I went to the Whittington hospital walk in clinic where I received excellent service and was seen and treated in 40 minutes. The senior nurse commented that it wasn't the first time this had happened from that particular surgery. This was my first experience of the 111 service and despite the bad press, I was hoping things might have improved. Sadly this does not seem to be the case.