I have only ever used the NHS 111 helpline once; I cannot say I found it good or poor, but I can certainly say it wasn’t superb.
NHS 111 helpline is a party of people that sit behind a desk responding to telephone calls and, reading off a list of things that they have been told to ask if you have an illness that is not life threatening then it is not classed as needing urgent medical attention.
This did not sit well with me because I already have a bad heart and, before NHS 111 I used to telephone NHS Direct, which in many ways is, not unlike the NHS 111, the same applies; a group of people sit behind a desk answering a telephone and, read off a list of things to ask.
When telling them I had pains in my chest they at once said I required an ambulance; I clarified that I didn’t need one; I was just phoning up to see if I should come to the hospital for medical care as my out of hours doctor sits at the hospital.
I knew that I could make an appointment over the telephone through NHS Direct, but because I had said I had pains in my chest, which I did, on their reading list of things to ask, it said pains in chest, send an ambulance.
I did not require an ambulance at all, but still one was dispatched, needless to say, there was nothing wrong with my heart.
I knew it was not my heart because I already have heart problems and, it turned out to be a Hiatus Hernia, not heart problems, which just cost the tax payer ex amount of pounds of unnecessary money.
Nevertheless, there was an instance when my son was extremely ill and, the doctor had come out and, said to call an ambulance and, when they came, they declined to take him. They after some time took him after I threatened to cut the ambulance drivers testicles off with a blunt knife, but before that they were adamant that they would not be taking him, even though the doctor had said to call for an ambulance.
Thankfully my son was fine but after being in pain for hours and hours and, being violently sick, with a temperature and, not understanding what was going on because he is Autistic, I was not too impressed with the ambulance service.
So my point is this, if you call the NHS 111 or Direct, you get an ambulance whether you want one or not, you call for an ambulance because your doctor has said you need one and, they refuse to take you.
I would have thought that if a doctor has said an ambulance is needed, then they know what they’re talking about.
The ambulance service are not trained enough to make a decision over what a doctor has said and, people behind a telephone are not qualified to know if that person, whom they know nothing about, cannot see and, have not got their medical details in front of them, should not be making those decisions over the phone.
They could be making a life or death decision, but would not be to blame because they are just doing their job.