New non emergency NHS advice line 111 is 'steadily improving' say health officials

 

The new non emergency NHS advice line is "steadily improving" health officials have said.

The NHS 111 number showed signs of a turn around during April, with many users saying they were satisfied with the service, NHS England said.

But the number is still experiencing teething problems, with 66,000 of the 514,000 calls answered in April taking more than a minute to answer.

"The data published today on the performance of NHS 111 in April 2013 showed the service is steadily improving and is highly rated by those who use it - 92% were very or fairly satisfied with their NHS 111 experience," and NHS England spokeswoman said.

Health experts will welcome the turnaround - many have said that the chaotic roll out of the system has contributed towards the troubles in accident and emergency departments.

In May, leading doctors warned that the "problematic" introduction of the advice line left patients not knowing where to turn to for help.

The service was supposed to be rolled out on April 1, but officials were forced to relax the deadline after it emerged that many of the 111 lines - which are run by 44 individual local bodies across the country - were not ready to "go live".

PA

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