When to use the 111 service
If the emergency is not life threatening, would be easily handled by a General Practice Doctor. i.e. a GP or falls into the "Mummy Kiss It Better" class of emergency then the 111 service should be able to cope. The 111 should not be used for a real emergency!!
When to use the 999 service
For all emergencies where you are the least bit unsure you should phone 999
What to expect of either service and what should happen
A personal View of what should be done with the 111 and the 999 service
- The first assessment will be by the call handler and, if the emergency requires it, the call will be passed to a clinician for assessment.
- If the emergency is judged to require it, either a paramedic in a car or an ambulance will be dispatched.
- The East of England Ambulance Service claims to respond to 75% of calls in 8mins.
- If the call handler assess the emergency as needing a Comunity First Responder (CFR) to attend they will contact the local on call CFR and request attendance at the scene.
- If nobody has arrived in 30 minutes and there has been no callback then Phone 999 to find out why.
- The call handler should be able to give you a predicted arrival time and if this is exceeded phone back immediately.
- If you are unhappy with the service complain long and loud. It is the only way things will improve.
The 111 service call centres should be amalgamated with the 999 service and all emergencies handled by the 999 call centres. This would remove any confusion and the added staffing of the 999 service should help improve the service.