111 calls rise in Norfolk as staff take hundreds of calls in wake of coronavirus

NHS 111 calls rose in Norfolk by more than 800 for the same period last year. Picture: Dave Thompso

NHS 111 calls rose in Norfolk by more than 800 for the same period last year. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire - Credit: Archant

Non-emergency calls to the NHS were up in Norfolk by 800 year-on-year as staff deal with the strain of the coronavirus outbreak on top of seasonal pressures.

The number of calls made to NHS 111 in the week ending March 1 was 7,187 - up from 6,471 the previous year.

The biggest spike in calls were taken on Sunday, February 29, which was 1,589.

Nationally, the number of calls to 111 were up by 120,000 year-on-year compared to the same week last year according to performance statistics released by NHS England.

As part of the government battle plan announced on Tuesday, a further 500 call responders are being recruited.

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An NHS spokesman said: "NHS staff are working round the clock to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, with 111 services dealing with over 120,000 more calls than the same week last year.

"That's why we're already recruiting 500 additional initial call responders to answer up to 20,000 more 111 calls every day, with further staffing increases in train, providing a new online service which can provide advice at the touch of a button, and boosting the availability of clinical advice for those who need it."

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