"Listening to parents instincts"

About: NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service)

(as a parent/guardian),

My husband called nhs24 this morning at 6am as my daughter had woken up with a sore ear. As parents we know exactly what is best for our child and she has suffered from ear infections since the age of 5 months we know the signs and know she needs treatment right away. We explained this to the call handler.

Following a conversation the call handler had with a nurse they came back and said it's 2 hours till your gp opens just call them. My husband explained again she needs treatment now or it will get worse and by the time we see a dr hours will have passed as we won't get an appointment right away. To which the call handler says just ask for a duty gp they will see her right away, now we know in reality that doesn't happen so I then had to take my daughter to accident and emergency for treatment.

So I would like to know what is the purpose of nhs 24 does it close at 6am because gps are available in 2hrs time?  As a mum I am utterly appalled that a 3 year old with a raging ear infection is told to wait till their GP is open! Because she didn't seem to appropriately fit into the nhs 24 algorithm were not able to see a  dr. What worries me more as a neonatal charge nurse is that you dismissed parents instincts that their child was becoming unwell and needed treatment right away, Something that they see and deal with several times a year. So you will know my daughter was seen at a&e and treated for an ear infection!

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Response from Mark Kelly, NHS24

Dear Sharon79,

Thank you for sharing your experience on Patient Opinion. I am sorry to read of your disappointment in relation to the service provided by NHS 24. I appreciate that this will have been a worrying time for you and the family.

Here at NHS 24 patient safety is our top priority. We welcome and consider all feedback very seriously as this helps us to improve the service we provide to patients, carers, and their families. Your call to NHS 24 concerning your daughter was received by us near the time when patient care is transferred back to GP Surgeries, during the daytime, where the advice offered to attend your own GP can often be the most appropriate clinical outcome in relation to the presenting symptoms. NHS 24 are keen to explore this particular contact with our service in detail, therefore I would be pleased if you would be kind enough to contact our patients affairs team directly to provide additional detail. This would enable a full review of your call to our service.

Thank you again for taking the time to tell your story, we endeavour, at all times, to ensure that persons who use our service, at what, we fully appreciate are worrying and distressing times, have a positive experience.

Should you care to contact NHS 24 further to provide some additional detail, our patient affairs team can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

With kind regards,


Mark Kelly

NHS 24

Head of Clinical Governance and Quality Improvement

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