NHS England’s response to media coverage on NHS 111

Responding to the media coverage today (14 January 2015) on NHS 111, Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director for Acute Care, said:

“NHS111 is doing an excellent job in terms of protecting both A&E and ambulance services from unnecessary attendances and call outs.

“Doctors and nurses in A&E work incredibly hard to provide patients with the urgent care and treatment they need and have managed significant pressures as demand for urgent care grows. However, what emergency doctors such as Dr Mann do not see is the even greater number of patients who are treated effectively and efficiently using the 111 helpline. Last year 111 received over 12 million calls and as a result offered treatment to over two million people who would otherwise have visited A&E, and another 580,000 who would have called 999 for an ambulance, reducing a significant amount of unnecessary pressure on our urgent care services. ”

Background Information:

Our research shows that one in three of all people who call NHS111 would otherwise have gone straight to A&E. But having phoned 111, three quarters of them are not directed to A&E. And 17 per cent of people who call NHS111 would have otherwise dialled 999. But having called NHS111, only 11 per cent required an ambulance.

On this basis we have calculated calls to NHS111 that would otherwise have visited A&E number as follows:

  • 2.13 million for the year ending Nov 2014


  • 177,000 per month; 41,0000 per week; nearly 6,000 per day.
  • Calls to NHS111 that would otherwise have resulted in calls to 999 for an ambulance are as follows:
  • Approximately 600,000 for the year ending Nov 2014


  • 50,000 per month, 12,000 per week, 1,600 per day.