Significant rise in NHS 111 calls in Hampshire and Surrey Heath as professor hails 'important service'

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CALLS to the NHS 111 service have seen a significant rise in Hampshire and Surrey Heath.

A higher volume of calls were reported in the week to December 11 than the previous seven days. NHS England has urged people to use online 111 services for non-emergencies, in a bid to relieve pressure on the service over the winter and during periods of industrial action.

NHS England figures show patients called the Hampshire and Surrey Heath 111 helpline 23,512 times in the week to December 11. This is 46 per cent higher than the 16,072 calls the previous week.

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QA Hospital. Picture Habibur RahmanQA Hospital. Picture Habibur Rahman
QA Hospital. Picture Habibur Rahman

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the huge increase is ‘understandable with concerns about winter viruses – including strep A – a top priority for the public’.

He added: ‘It is more important than ever that the public uses 111 online where possible to get important information about non-emergency health conditions and to be signposted to the best possible care.’