By Accountable Care Journal-
NHS 111 online has been used more than one million times to get people the medical help they need since its launch in December 2017. As more and more people adopt the use of digital services to support their health needs, the service continues to grow.
The service, which offers fast, free online help to anyone in England with an urgent health concern, completed its one millionth triage on Friday (10 May).
People can access NHS 111 online through the NHS website or the NHS App and by answering simple questions about their symptoms they are directed to the right place to get help. The triage process usually takes about two minutes, and patients may even be able to book a call from an urgent care service, if necessary.
Patients receive the best advice for them from the full spectrum of services available - from 999 to self-care advice.
Around 13 per cent of all NHS 111 online journeys end with self-care advice, almost half (48 per cent) of all triages direct users to contact primary care and about a quarter (24.7 per cent) of journeys end with instructions to ring 999 or attend A&E. In total 6.8 per cent are advised to seek dental treatment and 7.4 per cent are given other treatment dispositions, including speaking to a pharmacist.
The most common symptoms for which people use NHS 111 online are related to abdominal pain and dental problems.
The data shows the service continues to grow as 73.8 per cent of visitors ‘in hours’ (weekdays 8am to 6pm) and 70.4 per cent of visitors ‘out of hours’ (evenings, weekends, bank holidays) are using NHS 111 online for the first time.
Women (68.3 per cent) are also more likely to use the service than men (31.6 per cent), and the average age of a user is 30 years old.
Debbie Floyd, Head of the NHS 111 online programme at NHS Digital, said: “This is a significant milestone for the programme and shows how the service is helping so many patients across England. It’s great to see so many people using the service and the different clinical pathways that patients can access. ”