111 Urgent Care Telephone Evaluation
Recent national consultations with the general population about urgent care services identified that people were confused about which service to use when they wanted help quickly. They would value an easy to remember number they could call to help them to decide where best to go for health care. The government has established four test sites for a new telephone access service for members of the general public to ring when they need urgent rather than emergency health care. The number is `111´. The telephone call is taken by a non-clinical person who uses NHS Pathways to determine the best action for an individual to take.
The University of Sheffield team is testing whether the pilots are working well and the strengths and weaknesses of the different models. We are looking at how many people use the service, who uses the service and where they are advised to go. We will see if putting in a new service like this changes how people use other services such as 999 ambulances and accident and emergency departments. We will ask users how the service worked for them. We will consider the cost of the service compared with the benefits it can give. Methods include controlled before and after population surveys, user surveys, interviews with stakeholders and activity monitoring.
NIHR Policy Research Programme
March 2010 to November 2011