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How useful is the NHS 111 number, in your experience? watch

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    I used this a few months ago when struggling with mental health difficulties, and it didn't strike me as being all that helpful/useful. On at least two occasions that I've used it, all they seemed to advise me to do was to arrange an appointment with a GP as soon as was possible, instead of offering any actual medical advice or information on medical services - which seems quite daft, since the whole point of having a 24 hour NHS number is so that it can be of use to you even outside of the opening hours of a GP surgery.

    Has anyone else on here had similar (or perhaps even worse) experiences with this service?
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    When I had tonsillitis I couldn't move my neck or swallow (I didn't know what it was at this point) so I was told to ring them, They were incredibly helpful and booked me an emergency appointment at the hospital the same night around 11pm, I was crying on the phone idk if that made a difference haha
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    (Original post by jawsontheflooor)
    When I had tonsillitis I couldn't move my neck or swallow (I didn't know what it was at this point) so I was told to ring them, They were incredibly helpful and booked me an emergency appointment at the hospital the same night around 11pm, I was crying on the phone idk if that made a difference haha
    You wouldn't get me doing that, unless I was seriously depressed
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    Well I've called them a couple times when little accidents happen, like when my little brother fell and his tooth came out, they just told us to take him to the dentist asap x'D

    super useful lol
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    I found them utterly useless. They just told me to go see my gp; I mean, I don't have a degree in medicine but I'd managed to work that out myself thanks.

    I guess it's good if you've got a symptom of something serious but don't realise it. Like, if you had a really stiff neck, headache and fever but didn't know that probably meant meningitis I guess it'd be helpful?
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    (Original post by z33)
    Well I've called them a couple times when little accidents happen, like when my little brother fell and his tooth came out, they just told us to take him to the dentist asap x'D

    super useful lol
    What else were you expecting a helpline to do in this situation? Verbally talk you through a dental procedure?
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    They're good in that they give people an idea of whether they need to go to A&E, to make an out of hours GP appointment or to just make a normal GP one as soon as they can. Which is pretty much what they're there for, to take pressure off the emergency departments and assess if someone's likely to be serious. They're not medical professionals though so they will be wrong sometimes and people need to be aware of that.

    I've only used them once (or my dad did for me) but as soon as the words 'chest pain' and 'breathing' were mentioned they said A&E. I'm badly asthmatic though so it's kind of my normal


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    The only time I ever used it was for MH issues and it was when my panic disorder and OCD was at its highest last year and I pretty much at my wits end and felt like I was going around the bend after having constant panics, no sleeping of eating due to extreme anxiety and I couldn't function and all they told me to do was see my GP the next day which felt like light years away. I was breaking my heart to them and even demanding to be sectioned and then told me to take a propanolol (or however you spell it) and I told them I couldn't take any meds due to my OCD contamination fears and they said they didn't know how else to help me so I just had to deal with it on my own and saw my GP the next day who thankfully made an urgent referral for my OCD therapy. I don't know what I expected them to do in my situation and I know they can't magically cure me but when you are at rock bottom and you are told they dont know how they can help you, it really didn't help.

    Never used them for physical health reasons. My mum would just take me straight to A&E or my GP if I were physically ill as she was a nurse so knows enough about physical health to know when its serious.

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    Quite useful.

    They once booked me an out of hours GP appointment at the hospital where I was diagnosed with bell's palsy.
    And on other occasions, nurses have suggested what certain symptoms could mean before suggesting next steps.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    They're good in that they give people an idea of whether they need to go to A&E, to make an out of hours GP appointment or to just make a normal GP one as soon as they can. Which is pretty much what they're there for, to take pressure off the emergency departments and assess if someone's likely to be serious. They're not medical professionals though so they will be wrong sometimes and people need to be aware of that.

    I've only used them once (or my dad did for me) but as soon as the words 'chest pain' and 'breathing' were mentioned they said A&E. I'm badly asthmatic though so it's kind of my normal


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    It says that the staff who tend to the 111 calls are all trained NHS nurses, though?

    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    The only time I ever used it was for MH issues and it was when my panic disorder and OCD was at its highest last year and I pretty much at my wits end and felt like I was going around the bend after having constant panics, no sleeping of eating due to extreme anxiety and I couldn't function and all they told me to do was see my GP the next day which felt like light years away. I was breaking my heart to them and even demanding to be sectioned and then told me to take a propanolol (or however you spell it) and I told them I couldn't take any meds due to my OCD contamination fears and they said they didn't know how else to help me so I just had to deal with it on my own and saw my GP the next day who thankfully made an urgent referral for my OCD therapy. I don't know what I expected them to do in my situation and I know they can't magically cure me but when you are at rock bottom and you are told they dont know how they can help you, it really didn't help.

    Never used them for physical health reasons. My mum would just take me straight to A&E or my GP if I were physically ill as she was a nurse so knows enough about physical health to know when its serious.

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    This is what worries me; the people like us who call the NHS 111 number with mental health conditions, who aren't able to be offered the right help at the time of making the call, and are instead just told to make a GP appointment at the first available moment. A lot of mental health illness sufferers aren't always able to do that.

    I think it'd be great if there was a 24 hour NHS helpline for mental health issues in particular. A lot of the physical issues that have already been mentioned on this thread can either be solved by a 999 call, or by making a GP appointment; mental health is an entirely different ball game, however.
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    It says that the staff who tend to the 111 calls are all trained NHS nurses, though?


    This is what worries me; the people like us who call the NHS 111 number with mental health conditions, who aren't able to be offered the right help at the time of making the call, and are instead just told to make a GP appointment at the first available moment. A lot of mental health illness sufferers aren't always able to do that.

    I think it'd be great if there was a 24 hour NHS helpline for mental health issues in particular. A lot of the physical issues that have already been mentioned on this thread can either be solved by a 999 call, or by making a GP appointment; mental health is an entirely different ball game, however.
    Oh okay, I've got it wrong then! I didn't think they were, or most of them anyway.

    I guess for MH stuff they'd rather people use samaritans? But they don't give advice. They're trying to get mental health people in all A&Es now which is a start at least, I agree they could maybe do with some more training on it though.


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    (Original post by furryface12)
    They're good in that they give people an idea of whether they need to go to A&E, to make an out of hours GP appointment or to just make a normal GP one as soon as they can.
    How easy is it to make an out of hours GP appointment? I didn't even realise you could do that.
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    It says that the staff who tend to the 111 calls are all trained NHS nurses, though?


    This is what worries me; the people like us who call the NHS 111 number with mental health conditions, who aren't able to be offered the right help at the time of making the call, and are instead just told to make a GP appointment at the first available moment. A lot of mental health illness sufferers aren't always able to do that.

    I think it'd be great if there was a 24 hour NHS helpline for mental health issues in particular. A lot of the physical issues that have already been mentioned on this thread can either be solved by a 999 call, or by making a GP appointment; mental health is an entirely different ball game, however.
    There is.

    In terms of mental health there isn't much they CAN do over the phone except suggest you talk to someone so making a GP appointment is a good suggestion unless you are actively suicidal in which case they can get you to A&E. They called an ambulance to me once as I wouldn't leave the flat as I believed people were watching/following me. It allowed to me get crisis support and narrowly avoided being admitted.
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    Not useful, they sound like their asleep and give generic answers. But I still use them just for peace of mind as its better than nothing.

    Its what you get for free lol
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    It says that the staff who tend to the 111 calls are all trained NHS nurses, though?
    They're not, the phones are staffed by advisers who are supported by NHS clinicians.

    http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNH...s/NHS-111.aspx
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    I guess for MH stuff they'd rather people use samaritans?
    They're not trained medical professionals are they, though?

    They're trying to get mental health people in all A&Es now which is a start at least,
    How does that work? Like, so you could call 999 for mental health issues?
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    (Original post by Jenx301)
    There is.
    Where?
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    Where?
    Sorry my bad, the helpline I am thinking of is for Nottingham city council residents only. I just checked it.

    In terms of the whole 24 hour thing, unless it is an emergency you should be able to wait til the next day to see your GP about mental health problems. If it IS an emergency and you can't wait then you can access the crisis team through A&E.
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    (Original post by jawsontheflooor)
    When I had tonsillitis I couldn't move my neck or swallow (I didn't know what it was at this point) so I was told to ring them, They were incredibly helpful and booked me an emergency appointment at the hospital the same night around 11pm, I was crying on the phone idk if that made a difference haha
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    I found them utterly useless. They just told me to go see my gp; I mean, I don't have a degree in medicine but I'd managed to work that out myself thanks.

    I guess it's good if you've got a symptom of something serious but don't realise it. Like, if you had a really stiff neck, headache and fever but didn't know that probably meant meningitis I guess it'd be helpful?
    (Original post by z33)
    Well I've called them a couple times when little accidents happen, like when my little brother fell and his tooth came out, they just told us to take him to the dentist asap x'D

    super useful lol
    (Original post by Etomidate)
    What else were you expecting a helpline to do in this situation? Verbally talk you through a dental procedure?
    (Original post by furryface12)
    They're good in that they give people an idea of whether they need to go to A&E, to make an out of hours GP appointment or to just make a normal GP one as soon as they can. Which is pretty much what they're there for, to take pressure off the emergency departments and assess if someone's likely to be serious. They're not medical professionals though so they will be wrong sometimes and people need to be aware of that.

    I've only used them once (or my dad did for me) but as soon as the words 'chest pain' and 'breathing' were mentioned they said A&E. I'm badly asthmatic though so it's kind of my normal


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    (Original post by lustawny)
    I used this a few months ago when struggling with mental health difficulties, and it didn't strike me as being all that helpful/useful. On at least two occasions that I've used it, all they seemed to advise me to do was to arrange an appointment with a GP as soon as was possible, instead of offering any actual medical advice or information on medical services - which seems quite daft, since the whole point of having a 24 hour NHS number is so that it can be of use to you even outside of the opening hours of a GP surgery.

    Has anyone else on here had similar (or perhaps even worse) experiences with this service?
    (Original post by Biologyquestions)
    Not useful, they sound like their asleep and give generic answers. But I still use them just for peace of mind as its better than nothing.

    Its what you get for free lol
    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    The only time I ever used it was for MH issues and it was when my panic disorder and OCD was at its highest last year and I pretty much at my wits end and felt like I was going around the bend after having constant panics, no sleeping of eating due to extreme anxiety and I couldn't function and all they told me to do was see my GP the next day which felt like light years away. I was breaking my heart to them and even demanding to be sectioned and then told me to take a propanolol (or however you spell it) and I told them I couldn't take any meds due to my OCD contamination fears and they said they didn't know how else to help me so I just had to deal with it on my own and saw my GP the next day who thankfully made an urgent referral for my OCD therapy. I don't know what I expected them to do in my situation and I know they can't magically cure me but when you are at rock bottom and you are told they dont know how they can help you, it really didn't help.

    Never used them for physical health reasons. My mum would just take me straight to A&E or my GP if I were physically ill as she was a nurse so knows enough about physical health to know when its serious.

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    For EU and international students reading this and don't understand a thing, there's a wealth of reliable news on the NHS hotline 111.http://www.theguardian.com/society/2...am-mead-sepsis
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6834131.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6874481.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/heal...on-people.html
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    How easy is it to make an out of hours GP appointment? I didn't even realise you could do that.
    Pretty easy, not all surgeries do it but they'll be one in your local area somewhere you can go to. Some places also have walk in centres and/or minor injury units, again to take people away from A&E.


    (Original post by lustawny)
    They're not trained medical professionals are they, though?


    How does that work? Like, so you could call 999 for mental health issues?
    No and they can't give advice, they do listen though which from personal experience can be a huge help- at least while you're talking you can't do anything and can calm down a bit. And yeah you could if it's life threatening (ie you or someone else is a big danger to themselves) or go to A&E and they'll have a team that can deal with it. You can already but some places you'd be sat there hours until they find someone appropriate.


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