The new non-emergency phone service in Northamptonshire for people with medical queries is failing to meet national standards, according to latest figures.
The 111 service, introduced in March, has come under fire nationally after NHS Direct, which initially won 11 of the 46 regional contracts for the service, said it wanted to withdraw from its contracts because they are “financially unsustainable”.
According to figures in the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group’s June 2013 Quality and Performance Report between May 16 and May 28, the service failed to meet its target to respond to 95 per cent of calls within a minute on eight days out of the 13. It also failed to meet its target to give callers a callback within 10 minutes on any day within that period.
In Northamptonshire the 111 service is run by Derbyshire Health United (DHU), a not-for-profit company set up in April 2007 after the merger of two Derbyshire companies set up by local GPs.
Dr Kamal Sood, the clinical lead for the 111 service in Northamptonshire, said: “We have worked very hard in helping shape the NHS 111 service provided for us by DHU. We have every confidence in DHU as a provider of first-class services. Our patient feedback to date has been largely excellent. Nevertheless, we are not complacent and we’ll continue to work in partnership with patients to provide the best possible service.”
The commissioning group report does also state the service is showing signs of improvement with regards to the proportion of calls answered within 60 seconds. The average daily performance in May was 86 per cent compared with 76 per cent in April.