Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health SciencesOur research

Research project: The work, workforce, technology and organisational implications of 111

Currently Active: 
Yes

The NHS offers a wide range of services for urgent (non-emergency) healthcare including NHS walk-in centres, out-of-hours GP services, minor injuries units and the NHS Direct telephone service. The range of services and different ways of accessing them is often confusing for patients and this can lead to delays in receiving appropriate healthcare.

The NHS offers a wide range of services for urgent (non-emergency) healthcare including NHS walk-in centres, out-of-hours GP services, minor injuries units and the NHS Direct telephone service.

The range of services and different ways of accessing them is often confusing for patients and this can lead to delays in receiving appropriate healthcare. These services are located in community, primary and secondary care and it is also difficult to join up (integrate) services - for example, finding out if they are open or have the capacity to take more patients. The Department of Health are piloting a single point of access to all these services, via a three digit telephone number (111), with a view to rolling this service out across the country. Patients telephoning 111 will encounter a call handler who will use a computer decision support system (CDSS) to help decide the most appropriate service available locally. Our proposal focuses on the new service provided at four pilot sites in England.

On the basis of our previous funded research (by NIHR SDO) we believe that successful use of the CDSS to provide this new service will depend on 4 things:

a) the WORK call handlers and associated staff do to provide 111 and wider integrated service;

b) the recruitment, training and maintenance of a new WORKFORCE to do this new work;

c) the TECHNOLOGY - both the CDSS itself, and other computer and communication technologies that it links to; and

d) the ORGANISATIONAL CONTEXT surrounding this new service.

A separate evaluation of the 111 pilots has been funded by the Policy Research Programme (PRP) to look at implementation, activity, patients perspectives and costs. Our proposal adds value to this work by answering key questions about the work, workforce, technology and organisation underpinning 111. This research is vital to understand how this service 'works'; it will inform plans to roll-out 111 nationally, and to address larger questions about the work and technologies we might want to use in modern health service delivery.

Methodology

We will use the following methods:

Ethnography (observation and informal interviews) of 4 settings to provide a detailed description of the work, workforce, the technologies used and the organisational settings.

Focus groups with staff / key stakeholders involved with the 111 service; to understand how these different people think about the new integrated service, the everyday work and different ways this work is understood, the contribution of technologies, impact on the workforce and wider organisations.

Survey of information sharing and knowledge across the multiple services and range of staff implicated in 111, to understand trust and knowledge transfer in integrated services.

We will hold a workshop designed to bring our work together and link it to the research undertaken in a parallel study funded by NIHR PRP to ensure that we directly inform all the relevant stakeholders and decision makers, and to extend what we know about 111 use.

Project team

Professor Carl May, Dr Joanne Turnbull, Professor Susan Halford, Professor Val Lattimer, Professor of Nursing / Head of School, Nursing & Midwifery, University of East Anglia, Dr Jeremy Jones, Professor Catherine Pope, Dr Jane Prichard

Project funder

NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme

Associated research themes

Health services research; Urgent care; service delivery and organisation; computer decision support software; technologies; every work and practice

Related research groups

Health Work and Systems
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings