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Calling 111 about Covid 19

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Did you call NHS 111 about COVID symptoms between March and June this year? We’d like to hear from you to help us with our research….

About our research

We are researchers from the University of Oxford, University of Southampton and the University of Bristol. 

We’re planning some research to learn how NHS111 have been advising the public about what to do about coronavirus and how they can improve this service in the future. 

Calls to NHS111 more than doubled at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the service had to adapt quickly to cope with demand. Cases are now on the rise again. Effective communication between call-handlers and the public is really important: all communication is by telephone, and call-takers must balance the need to address caller concerns and also make sure that they find out who needs to see a doctor, and who is safe to look after themselves at home. Call-takers do not know patient’s medical histories, and callers may be very worried or upset. If communication is not effective, the consequences can be very serious. 

We plan to listen back to recordings of NHS 111 phone calls, where explicit consent has been given for us to do so, made during the first wave of the pandemic. 

We will identify and describe common caller concerns, and how call-takers manage these concerns. We will also explore how call-takers make sure callers know when and how to seek further medical help. 

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Who we are looking for

We are looking for six people from diverse backgrounds to join our ‘lay advisory panel’.

The role is open to any patients, carers or members of the public with direct experience of calling 111 on their own behalf, or on behalf of another individual, concerned they may be affected by, or at risk of, COVID-19 infection. 

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What the role involves

The role of lay advisor is flexible and allows individuals to do as much or as little as they are able to do. This could include: 

  • Helping us choose the most important things to include in training for call takers 
  • Helping to plan the best ways to communicate and share our findings with the wider public.

We think this will involve two meetings, a few months apart.

We will reimburse you with shopping vouchers for your time spent preparing for and attending these meetings.

The meetings will be held online, or on the phone, so you don’t have to travel anywhere. We will do our best to accommodate any access requirements you may have.

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What next?

If this sounds like something you would like to help us with we’d be keen to hear from you, please email us: open-project@bristol.ac.uk

After you email, we’d like to have a quick chat with you on the phone to talk more about the project.

If you want to find out more about our team before getting in touch, you can look at our university profiles…

Lead Researcher: Dr Rebecca Barnes

Patient and Public Involvement: Lydia Holt and Charlotte Albury

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Applications are now closed

Our team will keep our lay panel updated on our progress through regular meetings, and also through online updates – click here – to see our updates page

This research is a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Southampton

This research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research

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