We have been in discussion with our HCPA members over the last few years regarding the challenges arising from 111, especially in out of hours situations.

A key area of concern that we have identified from feedback from care providers is that ambulances have been called out unnecessarily when a Care Practitioner has rung 111, and other partners have then penalised the provider for the unnecessary ambulance call out.

We have been sharing this feedback with 111 for the past 6 months and have been advocating for care providers to have a more tailored and helpful service. We are delighted to say that this feedback is now being taken forward by the new 111 service. As a result, care homes will soon have direct access to clinicians to help eliminate this issue. Below is the outline of the new service, which launches in Hertfordshire on Thursday 29th June 2017. Please note: we are still in discussion about homecare.

What Care Homes  need to do to start accessing this service…

1 .Care homes are required  to submit all numbers they will be using to contact NHS111 (including outgoing landline and mobiles from the property). Please click here to complete the form and return to us by the 10th July.

2. We will then share the information with 111, who will update their systems

3. Next time you need to call 111, the care home telephone numbers will be flagged up as coming from a care homeRemember to make sure you are with the resident when calling

4. The person handling the call will record basic information and, depending on the reason for calling, the call will be automatically directed to a clinician within the IUC, service, if appropriate.

The clinician will be able to view the resident’s ‘Summary Care Record’ and also any ‘Special Patient Notes’ that the resident’s usual GP has completed. A clinical decision will be made and either advice will be given or the ambulance will be called. It is hoped that this will help to reduce the number of calls directed to the ambulance trust and at the same time improve Out of Hours support for care home residents.

It is imperative that all providers fill out the phone number form (point 1 above). Without these phone numbers care homes cannot be identified by the people handling the 111 calls and therefore will not be able to benefit from the new service.

This is a new service and will take some time to settle in and adjust into the wider system.  During this period do please let us know any feedback or issues you incur by emailing complexcare@hcpa.info so we can feed this back to 111 and help ensure that the service meets your needs.