"Felt let down by 111 service in Leicester area"

About: DHU Healthcare CIC / NHS 111

(as a carer),

I am writing on behalf of my daughter (in her 30's).

A couple of weeks ago, on a Tuesday,  we visited GP and they prescribed  my daughter Penicillin antibiotics (never had Penicillin before). My daughter had (& still has) a very nasty throat infection (similar to strep throat?). Her immune was so low as well as a flare up with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) being Colitis (recent blood tests were dangerously out of range) and Iron Levels at 2 (awaiting an Iron Infusion). I visited our local Chemist, (leaving daughter bed-bound), who suggested to contact the NHS 111 Service. Due to daughter's various medical conditions, it looked as though she was having an allergic re-action to the Penicillin.

111 COMPLAINT on the Saturday, around 1.30 pm rang 111, and informed in an hours’ time, we would receive a call back from a Doctor. My daughter stated that there was blood loss and she stopped the Penicillin the day before (Friday 6pm) to which the response was medical advice needed to stop the medication. 90 minutes later (around 3 pm), 111 rang back, stating they were very busy and they had not "forgotten us". Another 90 minutes later around 4.30 pm, 111 rang back, a lady spoke with daughter, who initially was not too bad speaking at first but soon declined, getting dis-oriented, breathless and very weak, passed phone to me, thinking it was a "Doctor", (as that we were previously told a Doctor will ring back). I asked the Lady if she was a Doctor to which I was horrified to her reply, that she was NOT a Doctor. She suggested to attend Loughborough Hospital before 8 pm or Leicester Royal Infirmary after 8 pm. Flabbergasted.

I requested that we spoke to a Doctor. Finally at 5.10 pm, a Doctor at 111 rang back and our options were :- either an appointment at Loughborough Hospital at 7.40 pm, or Leicester Royal Hospital (LRI) after 8pm. Bearing in mind, my daughter was bed-bound, breathless, weak and very lethargic, and no way could even go outside the house. I requested either I could collect perhaps a different ant-biotic Medication or if they needed to do an examination prior prescribing, a Doctor Home-Visit is necessary. I was point-blank refused stating their reasons:- 1) as we visited the GP Surgery on the Tuesday, daughter is capable to go out-doors. 2) daughter not "Elderly" (she's in her 30's). 1) Firstly, yes our GP Surgery is just a short drive , 1/2- 1 mile away, accessible parking, with a disabled toilet for daughter's disability (IBD -Colitis). Since Tuesday, my daughter's health had deteriorated even further.

2) "Elderly" is discriminatory - daughter in her 30's. . 111 known about daughters various conditions and should have some access to her medical records? I am unsure about this ? or if there was some access, did they read daughter's medical conditions? I was so angry, and stated an ambulance will be called. We did not call an ambulance as I thought Daughter was not "Elderly" (not old enough), that fitted in a criteria, although it may have been life threatening.

AFTER EFFECTS OF 111 REFUSAL Saturday & Sunday went by (daughter bed-bound feeling very unwell). On Monday, drove and parked immediately outside GP Surgery for an emergency appointment with Female Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) who stated : -3) stop immediately the Penicillin (Daughter decided to stop Friday 6pm). 4) prescribe new antibiotics prescribed to treat 2 conditions- nasty throat infection and in addition her on-going Colitis flare-ups. 5) the breathlessness may also be in addition from being Level 2 iron -and ANP could not understand how daughter was even standing.

Usually, just with level 2 iron and no other health conditions, people are bed- bound, or difficult getting out of bed, breathless, lethargic and feeling very in-well - also a double whammy with the additional medical problems being; painful IBD Colitis, mobility (reliant on using crutches all the time, poorr immune system, very nasty throat infection, .

An Iron Infusion was previously booked for the following day at the Leicester General Hospital, of which is now cancelled, due to taking any type of antibiotics. The LGH also suggested a blood transfusion may also be necessary. There has been a slight improvement with the new antibiotics - not as breathless, but nevertheless still bed-bound, still awaiting Iron Infusion (after the course antibiotics have finished).

REFLECTION Calling 111 Service for the very first time on behalf of my daughter, who has had deteriorating health conditions. Since the diagnosis of IBD Colitis 3 years ago, there has been 7 hospital each for 2-3 weeks at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). Oh and yes so far, we have taken our daughter there ourselves - no ambulance call-out ever throughout daughter's on-going medical conditions and our this being her very first call to 111 Service was less than satisfactory.

CONCLUSION I will be making a formal complaint, concerning the 111 Service.


Response from Judith Brown, Patient Experience Manager, Governance, DHU Health Care CIC

Having read your comments regarding your daughter’s recent experience with DHU Health Care CIC.

I am extremely sorry to read about your daughter’s poor experience during your recent contact with our service.

I would like to investigate the concerns you have raised formally and I would be grateful if you could contact our Clinical Governance Department on 0300 1000 407 or email DHUL.clinicalgovernance@nhs.net. The team will be able to take more details from you so we can look in to why this has happened.

I do hope that your daughter is feeling much better.

Thank you,

Judith Brown

Patient Experience Manager

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Female (a carer)

Further to your request, I've forwarded the relevant e-mail that was sent to

england.contactus@nhs.net dated 20/23 April 2018

(prior editing and after editing by Care Opinion).

Thank you for your consideration.

Update posted by Female (a carer)

FOLLOW UP: - a few days later - daughter had an emergency blood test & 2 hours after this blood test, we received a phone call at 5.30 PM from GP to go straight to Surgery. Blood tests are all way out, GP could not even obtain blood pressure.

Immediately the GP called an ambulance (1st time in daughter's life) and daughter admitted Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) via ambulance for 3 weeks (also where had her 2nd iron transfusion & further anti-biotics) for her 8th hospital admission since March 2015. After admission, we saw this GP since who stated they were very very worried. My daughter has had illnesses throughout the years but since calling 111 and after, she was the worst I've ever seen in her. Presently, daughter still waiting for a 3rd iron infusion. Her reading of 2 has gone up slightly but still well under the recommended guidelines of 14.

If only the 111 Service had taken some responsibility and arranged for a Home Visit and 111 doctor could of acted upon what was necessary, making it 111's responsibility as a duty of care, things may have turned out different. 111 Service has passed the book & acted very irresponsible- making up excuses that:-

"daughter made it to GP surgery on the Tuesday, so she's okay to go Loughborough/LRI today" and "daughter is not elderly". Really - I do hope this is an isolated serious complaint, and changes made.

My disabled daughter is wheel-chair/crutches user and in her 30's.

To date there has been no reply. At present we are very hurt and let down from the 111 service, and would be reluctant to contact 111 again.

Response from Judith Brown, Patient Experience Manager, Governance, DHU Health Care CIC

Good evening

Sincere apologies that you have had no contact/follow up to date. I will look into why this has happened as a matter of urgency and track down your e-mail that I requested with your contact details etc.

I will then log this with our Governance Team as a formal complaint and we will begin the complaints process.

In the meantime should you want to speak to me directly I can be contacted on 0300 1000 409.

Again I hope your daughter has fully recovered and I would encourage you to contact the NHS 111 service again if required although I do understand your reluctance currently. Hopefully pending the outcome of your complaint we can rebuild your confidence in the service.

With Kind Regards

Judith Brown

Patient Experience Manager (DHU)

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Female (a carer)

Dear Judith Brown,

Thank you for your reply.

I am having an operation and I will contact you directly as soon as possible.

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