NHS 24 helped more people than ever over the 4-day Easter weekend.
NHS 24’s online service, NHS inform, saw a significant increase in use over this time as Scots increasingly choose to find digital solutions to their health issues.
There was almost 44% (43.9%) jump in visitors to the site (compared to Easter 2022) and a 46% increase in accessing NHS 24’s online symptom checkers and care guides which shows Scots know how to save time getting the right care in the right place.
NHS 24’s Director of Service Delivery, Pauline Howie, said this is good news not only for NHS 24 but for the whole NHS and people across Scotland:
“We all know that the Bank Holidays can be especially challenging for our NHS. We plan our 111 service to meet the increased demand, but we also ask the public to help us in two ways – planning ahead and checking NHS inform as their first port of call.
“Planning ahead is important because it means people can deal with any minor health issues at home without the need to call us – a lot of our calls are about medicines, so we remind people to check their repeat medications, make sure they have enough and to have home remedies, just in case.
“Using NHS inform, or our new phone app, NHS 24 Online is convenient and can often help avoid the need to contact a healthcare professional because most issues can be dealt with quickly and easily using the self-help guides. We also have a service directory which means people can find a service nearby. For example, if someone has an issue with their medication this can be sorted using the self-help guide and, if needed, a quick visit to the local pharmacy.
Using NHS inform first might mean you don’t even need to call us which can leave us more time to help people with perhaps more complex healthcare needs.
“The 46% increase in using self-help guides compared with last Easter is a fantastic result and shows that people across Scotland are saving time by checking online first. The figure was also up by 4% on the previous weekend so we are seeing a shift in the way people get their healthcare questions answered.
“This is good news for the 111 service which has just answered more than 31,000 calls over the Easter weekend. That’s 2000 more than last year and callers waited an average of just 10 minutes to get through to the service across the 4 days.
“The hard work and dedication of NHS 24 colleagues is delivering an ever-improving service and shows that offering the people of Scotland choice in how they get their healthcare questions answered is important in helping us to deliver sustainable, safe, and effective services.”
NHS 24 digital services:
- 111 – providing urgent care triage for anyone who thinks they need A&E, but it is not life or limb threatening, support for those in mental health distress and advice when their GP, pharmacy or dental practice is closed.
- NHSinform.scot – Scotland’s online health information service that offers quality assured health and care information including – Symptom checker, Scotland’s Service Directory and Mental health advice and resources.
- Breathing Space a free and confidential phone and web chat service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 experiencing low mood, depression, or anxiety.
- Care Information Scotland (CIS) a phone, webchat and website service providing information about care services for people living in Scotland.
- Quit Your Way Scotland an advice and support service for anyone trying to stop smoking in Scotland.
- Living Life a phone service that offers support to people in Scotland who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression or symptoms of anxiety through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
NHS 24 Online app:
NHS 24 Online provides people in Scotland an additional channel to find out more about their symptoms, how to safely self-manage illnesses and conditions, and when and where to see further medical advice if required. NHS 24 Online can be downloaded free at: