Paramedics' perceptions and experiences of NHS 111 in the south west of England

Background: NHS 111 is a non-emergency telephone triage service in England, where people with non-urgent health problems or questions can gain access to information and services. However, studies have demonstrated key problems with the burden it places on emergency and ambulance services. Aim: To add to the evidence base, this study explores the perceptions and experiences of paramedics who attend patients referred to the ambulance service by NHS 111. Methods: A qualitative research design was adopted and seven frontline paramedics who work in the south west of England were interviewed. Data were collected using semi-structured interview questions and thematically analysed. Findings: Key overarching themes identified included: non-clinical call handlers making clinical decisions; caution and liability; an unwarranted, increased demand on the ambulance service; inaccurate call prioritisation; and interprofessional conflict. Conclusion: Improvements need to be made to the NHS 111 service to ensure the triage software it uses is triaging and prioritising patients accurately and to minimise inappropriate referrals to the ambulance service, promoting the right care for patients the first time.

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for vising the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

CPD Focus

Reading the Journal of Paramedic Practice counts towards your professional development

Develop your career

We provide professional information dedicated to paramedics covering training, education and jobs

Stay informed

Get the latest clinical information to ensure you are aware of the latest think and best practice in paramedicne

Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with Journal of Paramedic Practice!

Sign up to Journal of Paramedic Practice’s regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.