NHS England have put a lot of work into promoting the 111 helpline service and advice services from pharmacists to the general public, in order to alleviate the pressure on A&E. With this in mind Healthwatch Hampshire decided to do a survey in conjunction with Citizens Advice Hampshire to get feedback from the general public who have recent experience of using 111 telephone service, pharmacy advice, and A&E and whether they consulted with these 111 telephone advice or a pharmacist before visiting A&E.
During February two Healthwatch Hampshire Project Officers visited community venues across Hampshire and set up stall with the surveys for people to complete. The Citizen Advice had surveys available for completion in the receptions of their offices across Hampshire during February 2018 which anyone visiting their offices could complete.
81% were satisfied with the service received when visiting A&E. 50% of those sought advice from their pharmacist or 111 telephone service before visiting A&E.
The feedback from the survey shows that generally people who had used 111 telephone advice, pharmacy or A&E in the last year had found it to be a positive experience. The advice they were given was good and they staff were helpful. The negative feedback we received was mostly regarding staff being very busy and waiting times. This is not surprising as we know how big the demand for medical advice can be, and in Hampshire we have a growing population so the demand on services will increase.