Demand on Yorkshire’s NHS 111 increased by almost 10 per cent in August.
Nearly 120,000 calls were made to the helpline run by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service in August – 9.9 per cent higher than in the same month last year.
Between April and August this year, 630,391 calls have been made to the line, with 618,673 answered.
The figure is 10.7 per cent higher than the same time last year, when a total of 569,364 were made.
The number of calls that have been made to the service is 7.4 per cent above the contracted level of 586,801.
Greater demand on NHS 111 was discussed at the ambulance service’s board meeting in Doncaster this week.
A report to the board said 93.6 per cent of calls in August were answered within 60 seconds – the first time the service has fallen under its 95 per cent target since April.
More than 94 per cent of patients who needed to speak to or see a clinician were contacted by a relevant medical professional within two hours of making a call to the service.
It said call volumes remain above the contracted rate and a recruitment plan has been developed to bring in more staff.
The report said: “Recruitment remains challenging in the wider context of nursing and paramedic shortages.”
At the meeting, the board heard a story read out by chairman Della Cannings from a patient’s daughter highlighting the excellent service both her dad received from NHS 111 at the end of his life and also her 82-year-old mother who was recently very ill.
The board was told that in the case of the family the NHS 111 team demonstrated ‘a professional and efficient service but who also show empathy and are compassionate to patients in their hour of need’.