A new public survey has been launched to find out more about local people’s experiences of using the NHS 111 service in the region.

111 is the NHS non-emergency number.  When you call 111 you speak to a highly trained telephone adviser, supported by healthcare professionals (nurses or paramedics).  They ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms which allows them to direct you to the best medical care for your needs.  NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with calls free from landlines and mobile phones.

Devon Doctors is the lead provider for urgent care in the region, offering 24/7 access to urgent care services including NHS 111 and Out of Hours services in the South West.

Healthwatch, the local consumer champion for health and social care services, are independently collating public feedback from people who have recently used the NHS 111 service in the Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay areas.

Healthwatch Somerset has joined forces with Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay to launch a regional survey to ensure that the very people using the NHS 111 service get to have their say on the way it is delivered to them.  All responses will be anonymous, and the information provided will be used to inform the joint Healthwatch report which will be shared with NHS 111 and the Health and Social Care Regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The online survey can be found at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHS111HW

Members of the public can also speak to Healthwatch Somerset directly to share their experience of NHS 111, or receive support completing the survey by calling 01278 264405 (Mon – Fri 8.30am-4pm).

Judith Goodchild, Chair of the Healthwatch Somerset Board, said: “With essential NHS services facing unprecedented challenges, it is really important that we, as the consumer champion for health and social care services, continue to listen to the community and share feedback with our stakeholders and key decision-makers about what is working well or not so well, and what issues may need addressing.  Your feedback will be used to shape and improve the local NHS 111 service and really could make a difference, so please share your experience with us by filling out our online survey, available on our local Healthwatch websites.”

A CQC spokesperson commented: “Local Healthwatch in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay are working in partnership with CQC to invite members of the public to tell us what they think of the services provided by Devon Doctors.  Their views and experiences will help CQC inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the services provided by in the future.  People are being encouraged to tell the team about their experiences of services provided by Devon Doctors in the past year and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future.”