Optimising the telephone management of people affected or at risk of COVID-19 infection via NHS111 services
- Principal Investigator: Rebecca Barnes
- 1 May 2020 to 31 March 2021
- Project No: 497
- Funding round: FR20
Aims of the research
To learn how NHS111 are currently advising the public about what to do about coronavirus and inform how they can best deliver these services in the future.
Background to the research
Calls to NHS111 are up by more than a third and the service is rapidly having to adapt to cope with demand. Effective communication between call-handlers and the public is vital: assessment and advice is by telephone, and call-handlers must manage gathering information alongside managing risks (e.g. ruling out life-threatening illness). Staff do not know patient’s medical histories, and callers may be very anxious. When communication is ineffective, the consequences can be very serious.
Design and methods used
Using qualitative methods we will analyse communication between call-handlers and the public in recordings of NHS111 calls. We will identify and describe more and less ‘successful’ methods of managing callers’ concerns, agreeing treatment plans, and making sure they know when to seek further medical help. We will ask some patients about their experiences, and what happened next, by telephone seven days later.
Patient, public and provider involvement
A diverse service user panel and our two NHS111 partners will be involved from start to finish.
We will share our findings with NHS111 service providers via Health Education England. An information and resource pack will be made available online via the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence service. We will also write up our findings in a scientific paper for academic audiences and engage wider public audiences using Web and Social Media.
Research team: Rebecca Barnes, Geraldine Leydon, Catherine Pope, Catherine Woods, Jennie Hayes, Lydia Holt, Charlotte Albury.
Amount awarded: £84,476.00