Matthew, one of our new young volunteers, shares his experience of the NHS 111 service.
On Easter Sunday, a family member of mine telephoned 111 (NHS helpline) for the second time that week due to persistent Covid-19 symptoms. The following details their experience from our wonderful frontline NHS staff.
After initially being assessed over the telephone by a member of the call-centre team, the individual was immediately referred to a nurse. Following a further telephone consultation with her, the nurse recommended that the patient spoke with a doctor and confirmed that one would call within two hours. Less than 30 minutes later, a doctor called to conduct a further analysis of the patient, following which he recommended the individual go to the local A & E for a more detailed examination.
Having arrived at A & E, the patient was greeted by the hard-working NHS frontline staff at Bedford Hospital. They were sympathetic but firm – showing their care and training and insisting that a mask was worn, and appropriate distancing was maintained. The patient saw a nurse, who expertly checked blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation levels. The individual was then examined swiftly but accurately by a doctor, who arranged a chest x-ray and a blood test. After checking the results, the patient was informed that a viral chest infection was present – but oxygen levels were not low enough for him to be admitted. The individual was advised to continue resting, taking paracetamol as required, and to return if breathing difficulties were experienced.
Every interaction – from the initial call to the final advice – demonstrated the world-class professionalism, care and empathy that represents our NHS even in the most difficult of times. They work tirelessly to support and care for our country – and we should be forever grateful for their amazing work. On behalf of my family member, I would like to thank all the NHS workers.