"Long message didn't help"

About: NHS 24

(as a service user),

We had a family urgency last Friday after our local GP centre had closed. We called NHS 24 - in some distress, and had to go through interminable messages and options on their auto respond system. About three minutes before we spoke to anyone. These are far too long, given in an uninterested, dull, droning voice (hardly healing) and take no account of the distress or panic that may be going on at the caller's end. Do these messages have to be so long with so many options?

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Aloysious

Thank you very much for your feedback via Patient Opinion. I was concerned to read your comments in relation to the telephone options available for persons who require to call NHS 24. I am very sorry for any additional distress this may have caused at what, I fully appreciate, would have been a worrying time.

NHS 24 welcomes feedback on our service as this helps us to make improvements to ensure that callers have the best possible experience. I fully appreciate that persons who are required to use the NHS 24 Unscheduled Care Service when their GP surgery is closed, will be concerned patients, carers or relatives and we endeavour to make any contact as stress free as possible.

The telephone options presented when a call is made to NHS 24 are provided for patient safety purposes and to ensure that callers to NHS 24, who may be displaying life threatening symptoms, are appropriately directed to the Scottish Ambulance Service. The full range of options presented enables us to effectively manage the volume and types of calls received by NHS 24.

Thank you again for your valued feedback. This will be shared with the NHS 24 Director of Unscheduled Care, and with our Voice Technology Specialists, who will consider your comments. If you wish to discuss this directly with me, I would be pleased to hear from you. I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

Shona Lawrence

Patient Affairs Manager

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