People in Somerset are being urged to give their views on using the county’s 111 non-emergency phone line.

There’s just over two weeks left to take part in a survey run by the county’s independent health and care champion Healthwatch Somerset.

Over 500 people have already taken part, sharing their experiences of using the 111 service with staff and volunteers from Healthwatch Somerset at events held across the county this summer.

Healthwatch Somerset will discuss the findings of the survey – to be published 1 October – with Somerset Clinical Commissioning group (who commission the 111 service in the county). The meeting will address how the issues raised by the public can be tackled during the development of the new Integrated Urgent Care Service that is due to launch in early 2019.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the NHS 111 non-emergency phone line in Somerset as ‘requires improvement for being safe and effective’. The survey by Healthwatch Somerset aims to capture the patient voice to ensure their views are taken into account.

Emily Taylor, Manager at Healthwatch Somerset, said: “We are really pleased with the number of people who have shared their experiences of the 111 service with us so far, but we are keen to capture even more views before the survey closes at the end of August.

“We feel that we are undertaking this piece of work at a critical point in time. We have seen no evidence that patient feedback is being collected about the service and therefore the views of the users are not being considered in decision making.

“Going forward, we want to be in a position to let Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group know where the issues are and actively encourage changes to be made”.

Healthwatch Somerset has a seat on the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body and will monitor any actions taken following the survey.

If you would like to give feedback, take part in the survey here (closing date 31 August 2018): https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/18J0I/ or contact Healthwatch Somerset info@healthwatchsomerset.co.uk, or telephone: 01278 264405.  Please note that your feedback will be kept anonymous.

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