A drop in the number of calls to the NHS 111 service during March in the Thames Valley area is going against a national trend.
There was an increase nationally in calls to 111 due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
In our region the 111 number received 40,000 calls which was down 42% from February’s figure.
However, of the calls received last month, 10,949 (27 per cent) were abandoned by callers kept waiting for 30 seconds or more – a much higher proportion than the 1 per cent abandoned a year previously in Thames Valley.
The NHS said 111 service levels started to be hit by Covid-19-related demands from mid-February, resulting in a sharp increase in national figures last month.
Across England, the helpline received almost 3 million calls in March – an average of 96,000 per day – more than doubling the 1.4 million calls received in March 2019.
Sarah Scobie, the Nuffield Trust’s deputy director of research, said NHS 111 is a “critical tool” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
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