"My elderly aunt's experience of the 111 Service."

About: NHS Direct NHS Trust / NHS 111 North Lancashire Teaching PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service

(as a relative),

My elderly relative who lives near Blackpool was in a lot of pain in her flat several days ago. She has a number of medical problems with her stomach and her legs, and whereas she normally copes with the pain, it had all got a lot worse and she ended up not being able to cope and feeling very frightened.

She and one of her neighbours who looks after her a lot, phoned the 111 service. The first person they spoke to said that a Dr would phone them within the hour.

To their credit the Dr did ring in a really timely fashion. But both my relative and the carer found it all very frustrating. The dr did not have any access to her records and when they asked why not? as she had previously signed a form agreeing to records being shared, the dr said the system of shared record keeping had been abandoned. So with my relatives quite complicated history it felt like the dr could never really understand the problems.

It seemed the Dr was not in a position where he could do anything about the situation, they could not get anyone out to her to assess and advise about pain control or tell them what to do. In the end they just said that they might have to ring 999, which is what eventually happened.

My relative and carer felt that the dr was sympathetic and sincere despite the fact that both were upset and angry. But essentially it was felt that they did not have the means to help or advise properly.

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Response from David Foord, Head of Clinical Governance, NHS Direct

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback, it is important to us to help us improve of our services. I am sorry it has taken until now for me to respond; the kind people at Patient Opinion have only recently mapped feedback posted here on our NHS 111 services to our NHS Direct profile to allow me to do this.

It sounds like you had a good experience of the telephone call you had with the 111 call handler and got a call-back from a doctor within a reasonable time after this. I understand and am sorry for the frustration you experienced with the doctor not having access to the right records. I will let the local provider of your doctors' out of hours service know this so they can see if there's any way that they can change or improve this.

Thanks again for letting us know about your experience.

David Foord

Head of Clinical Governance

NHS Direct

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