Significant rise in NHS 111 calls in Hertfordshire

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Here are the figures for the county

Hertfordshire saw significantly more NHS 111 calls in the week to December 11 than the previous seven days, new figures show.

Patients across England called the NHS 111 line more than ever before over the period, aside from two weeks in March 2020, when a surge of people sought help during start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care have urged people to use online 111 services for non-emergencies to ensure they receive the care they need during the festive period.

NHS logo, photo from Yui Mok/ PA Wire/PA ImagesNHS logo, photo from Yui Mok/ PA Wire/PA Images
NHS logo, photo from Yui Mok/ PA Wire/PA Images

Figures show patients called the Hertfordshire 111 helpline 15,490 times in the week to December 11 – up by 43% on the 10,853 calls made the week before.Of these, 7,482 (48%) were answered, while 957 were answered within 60 seconds.

It meant just 13% of the answered calls were within in a minute – well below the NHS target of 95%.

In England, a total of 706,129 calls were made last week, up 60% on the 440,047 made the previous week, and the highest on record aside from two weeks in March 2020. Meanwhile, just 15% of answered calls were within 60 seconds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the huge increase is "understandable with concerns about winter viruses – including strep A – a top priority for the public".

Professor Powis added: "It is more important than ever that the public uses 111 online where possible to get important information about non-emergency health conditions and to be signposted to the best possible care."

Professor Powis said the health service was "encouraging people to continue to come forward for the care they need" ahead of further industrial action this week.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: "NHS 111 online is a vital service that can offer patients the right advice as quickly and conveniently as possible – helping reduce pressure on our busy A&E departments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The coming weeks and months will be challenging, so it is essential people know the services available to them, to help access the treatment they need.

"With the uncertainty of more strikes looming, I want to reassure the public we are doing all we can to minimise disruption and remind them to still call 999 in an emergency."