Department of Health tests online NHS 111 helpline

Can anybody help? Hello?


The Department of Health is trialling an NHS 111 online service as part of a plan to provide a service to complement locally driven telephone services.

The department plans to have rolled out the 111 helpline by April 2013. It is supposed to replace NHS Direct as the first port of call for patients with urgent, but not life-threatening, symptoms.

A report on the progress of the pilot, which has been running for a couple of weeks, is due in September, those close to the project say.

A cross-disciplinary team of representatives from across the NHS – including NHS Direct, the Department of Health and NHS Choices – is working on the local pilot. The team will be looking at the options for delivering the NHS 111 service through digital channels. Local clinicians, commissioners and the ambulance service are also involved in the pilot.

The pilot will be trialled with a small group of users in selected areas, integrated to the existing online health and symptom checkers at www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect.

A project report will be used to inform the Department of Health on its options for consideration as part of a national specification for digital services.

The Department of Health said of the pilot: "The Department of Health has made a commitment to provide the NHS 111 service online by April 2013, alongside the telephone service. We are currently working with the NHS, including the NHS Direct and NHS Choices team on a local pilot to look at the options for delivering an NHS 111 service through digital channels."

News of the online plans follow a report that a number of private sector government service providers had chosen not to bid for the multimillion pound replacement programme to provide a new 24-hour 111 helpline. Although Capita would not confirm or deny that it had withdrawn from the tender process, it outlined its reservations in a statement.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading
  • Need to prioritize security bug patches? Don't forget to scan Twitter as well as use CVSS scores

    Exploit, vulnerability discussion online can offer useful signals

    Organizations looking to minimize exposure to exploitable software should scan Twitter for mentions of security bugs as well as use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System or CVSS, Kenna Security argues.

    Better still is prioritizing the repair of vulnerabilities for which exploit code is available, if that information is known.

    CVSS is a framework for rating the severity of software vulnerabilities (identified using CVE, or Common Vulnerability Enumeration, numbers), on a scale from 1 (least severe) to 10 (most severe). It's overseen by First.org, a US-based, non-profit computer security organization.

    Continue reading
  • Sniff those Ukrainian emails a little more carefully, advises Uncle Sam in wake of Belarusian digital vandalism

    NotPetya started over there, don't forget

    US companies should be on the lookout for security nasties from Ukrainian partners following the digital graffiti and malware attack launched against Ukraine by Belarus, the CISA has warned.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it "strongly urges leaders and network defenders to be on alert for malicious cyber activity," having issued a checklist [PDF] of recommended actions to take.

    "If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic," added CISA, which also advised reviewing backups and disaster recovery drills.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022