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NHS’ promotion of 111 First ‘not strong enough’, watchdog warns

Not enough people know about the NHS 111 First A&E booking service as the messaging hasn't been strong enough, says Healthwatch England. The service can be used for patient who need urgent care but are not in an emergency situation, and patients can call 111 to "book" into urgent care. However, not enough people know about it, or what it's used for.

“There’s a real gap in high quality communication to the public,” she said. “They [the NHS leadership] expect the public just to catch up with the changes they have made. 111 First [or] online booking services come along and we’re all supposed just to know how to use it. That’s caused a lot of frustration for people. Our evidence shows that when people understand and use [111 First], they like it. But not enough people know about it and the comms have not been strong enough.” Says Imelda Redmond, the outgoing national director for Healthwatch England.

Read full story (paywalled).

Source: HSJ, 2 August 2021


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