Service specification for NHS 111
The NHS 111 service operates according to the following core principles:
Completion of a clinical assessment on the first call without the need for a call back.
Calls should be handled and, where appropriate, clinically assessed by the person who initially answers the call. If a nurse or clinical supervisor is required to complete the clinical assessment, the call should be transferred to a nurse, without the need for a call back. Only in exceptional circumstances, where a nurse is not available, should a caller be called back by a nurse and this must be within 10 minutes.
Ability to refer callers to other services without the caller being re-triaged for definitive clinical management.
Callers to NHS 111 should be clinically assessed once and, where appropriate, referred to the local NHS service that is best placed to meet their needs. Referral protocols should be in place with local NHS services detailing the arrangements for passing data and transferring responsibility for the care of the patient. The aim is to maximise understanding within the receiving service and minimise the need for the caller to repeat details.
Ability to transfer clinical assessment data to other providers and book appointments where appropriate.
Callers requiring another primary care service, including the GP OOH service, should have an appointment booked by the NHS 111 service where possible, and their clinical assessment details sent to that service.
Callers requiring in-hours GP services will be advised to contact their GP directly and advised that, if their GP is unavailable within the suggested timeframes, they should call NHS 111 again to find an alternative service to meet their needs.
Ability to dispatch an ambulance without delay.
Where the clinical assessment of a caller indicates that the dispatch of an ambulance is appropriate, the NHS 111 adviser should be able to dispatch an ambulance without any delay or re-triage of the call. Where clinically appropriate, the adviser should stay on the line to provide advice and support prior to the vehicle arriving.
These are the fundamental requirements that underpin the NHS 111 service.