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Since its launch last Wednesday one million people have benefited from dedicated NHS online support for coronavirus, with enquiries jumping to a record high of more than 210,000 in a single day.
The update to 111 online was launched to help people get quick advice about coronavirus, as enquiries to the health service about the outbreak, have surged.
The new online service provides people with the right advice and frees up clinical call handlers’ time so they are able to prioritise 111 phone callers experiencing symptoms.
New data this week showed that telephone calls to NHS 111 were up by more than a third compared with the same time last year, with an extra 120,000 calls to NHS 111 in the first week of March.
Around 500 additional initial call responders have already been trained, an increase of 20%.
As well as ramping up convenient advice and care options for the public, the health service is encouraging everyone to play their part in slowing the spread of the virus by following public health advice, including washing their hands for longer and more often than normal.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “NHS staff continue to work around the clock to ensure everyone gets the care, advice and support that they need to deal with coronavirus.
“With more than one million people using the new online service, 111 online is helping people to get specific information and advice at the touch of a button, helping to give people quick advice, increase capacity in the NHS and free up clinicians’ time.
“To stay well and help stop the spread, people should wash their hands, cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and put used tissues in the bin immediately.
The NHS in England is also ploughing additional investment into 111 to offer more clinical advice over the phone, with investment set to increase if demand continues to rise.
Between Thursday 27 February and Thursday 5 March, NHS 111 answered 389,779 calls.