The troubled new NHS phone triage service, NHS 111, is “steadily improving”, it has been claimed.
NHS England said today that data on the performance of NHS 111 in April 2013 showed the service was steadily improving, with 92% of patients “very” or “fairly” satisfied with their experience of using it.
The new service is run through a series of contracts with providers, many of whom are ambulance trusts. It was planned to replace NHS Direct across most of England from March.
But it has been beset by problems, including providers failing to start providing the service on schedule and patients being forced to wait for long periods to get through to an advisor.
In April, there were 566,532 calls to the 111 service compared to 360,526 the previous month, according to the new figures from NHS England.
It said the majority of NHS 111 services in England were now meeting the performance standards – 87% of calls answered in 60 seconds while 4% of calls were abandoned after waiting longer than 30 seconds.
However, NHS England acknowledged that some providers were continuing to fail to meet the standards set especially at weekends.
As report by Nursing Times, earlier this week, the launch of NHS 111 in Devon has been further delayed, making it likely to be one of the last areas of the country to go live.
The county’s two clinical commissioning groups have agreed to postpone the launch of the non-emergency phone number until at least September in order to learn from other areas of the country.
Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.