More than one million people have used dedicated NHS online support for coronavirus, NHS England has said.
The update to 111 online was launched on 4 March 2020 in order to help people get quick advice about coronavirus, after a surge of enquiries to the health service about the outbreak.
The service provides people with approved advice and frees up clinical call handlers’ time so they are able to prioritise 111 phone callers experiencing symptoms.
At its peak, the service received more than 210,000 enquiries in a single day.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “With more than one million people using the new online service, 111 online is helping people to get specific information and advice at the touch of a button, helping to give people quick advice, increase capacity in the NHS and free up clinicians’ time.
“To stay well and help stop the spread, people should wash their hands, cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and put used tissues in the bin immediately.
New data this week showed that telephone calls to NHS 111 were up by more than a third compared with the same time last year, with an extra 120,000 calls to NHS 111 in the first week of March.
Around 500 additional initial call responders have already been trained, an increase of 20%.
As well as ramping up convenient advice and care options for the public, the health service is encouraging everyone to play their part in slowing the spread of the virus by following public health advice, including washing their hands for longer and more often than normal.
Concerns about the spread of the virus have led to a number of large-scale events being cancelled, including HIMSS20, which was due to take place today in Orlando, Florida.
Disclaimer: Digital Health News is a news service run by a team of journalists. We are not part of the NHS, nor are we affiliated with the NHS or any other healthcare provider in the UK.
As such, Digital Health News is unable able to offer guidance regarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. We advise anyone seeking approved medical advice to contact NHS 111 or their local GP surgery.