Investigating the public's use of Scotland's primary care telephone advice service (NHS 24)

a population-based cross-sectional study

Anne McAteer, Philip C Hannaford, David Heaney, Lewis D Ritchie, Alison M Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There has been no comprehensive examination of the public's understanding of, and attitudes towards, NHS 24.

AIM: To investigate the public's use of NHS 24 and explore their understanding of, and beliefs about, the service.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Population-based cross-sectional study of adults in Scotland.

METHOD: Quantitative data were collected by self-completion postal questionnaire and qualitative data by follow-up telephone interviews.

RESULTS: A corrected response rate of 34.1% (n = 1190) was obtained. More than half (51.0%, n = 601) of responders had used NHS 24. Callers were more likely to be female, have at least one child, and be aged 25-34 years. Most calls (92.4%, n = 549) were made out of hours, and 54.6% (n = 327) were made on behalf of someone else. The main reason for calling was to get advice about a new symptom (69.0%, n = 414). A total of 38.6% (n = 219) of users contacted another health professional following their call, mostly on NHS 24 advice (71.7%, n = 157). Over 80.0% (n = 449) of callers were satisfied with the service and 93.9% (n = 539) would use it again.Only 8.4% (n = 78) of responders had used the NHS 24 website and 4.6% (n = 53) the NHS inform service. The main reasons for non-use were not needing the service, a preference to see their own GP, and not knowing the telephone number. NHS 24 was mainly viewed as an out-of-hours alternative to the GP. It was not considered an appropriate service for minor symptoms. The main facilitator to use was convenience, whereas the main barrier to use was not knowing how and when to use the service.

CONCLUSION: Although most people who used NHS 24 were satisfied, others were unclear about how and when to use the service. Further education about the full range of services that NHS 24 offers should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e337-e346
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume66
Issue number646
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Scotland
Telephone
Primary Health Care
Cross-Sectional Studies
Interviews
Education
Health
Population
Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this

@article{36680a1eb6fd4ebbb5df7ac3c41884cd,
title = "Investigating the public's use of Scotland's primary care telephone advice service (NHS 24): a population-based cross-sectional study",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: There has been no comprehensive examination of the public's understanding of, and attitudes towards, NHS 24.AIM: To investigate the public's use of NHS 24 and explore their understanding of, and beliefs about, the service.DESIGN AND SETTING: Population-based cross-sectional study of adults in Scotland.METHOD: Quantitative data were collected by self-completion postal questionnaire and qualitative data by follow-up telephone interviews.RESULTS: A corrected response rate of 34.1{\%} (n = 1190) was obtained. More than half (51.0{\%}, n = 601) of responders had used NHS 24. Callers were more likely to be female, have at least one child, and be aged 25-34 years. Most calls (92.4{\%}, n = 549) were made out of hours, and 54.6{\%} (n = 327) were made on behalf of someone else. The main reason for calling was to get advice about a new symptom (69.0{\%}, n = 414). A total of 38.6{\%} (n = 219) of users contacted another health professional following their call, mostly on NHS 24 advice (71.7{\%}, n = 157). Over 80.0{\%} (n = 449) of callers were satisfied with the service and 93.9{\%} (n = 539) would use it again.Only 8.4{\%} (n = 78) of responders had used the NHS 24 website and 4.6{\%} (n = 53) the NHS inform service. The main reasons for non-use were not needing the service, a preference to see their own GP, and not knowing the telephone number. NHS 24 was mainly viewed as an out-of-hours alternative to the GP. It was not considered an appropriate service for minor symptoms. The main facilitator to use was convenience, whereas the main barrier to use was not knowing how and when to use the service.CONCLUSION: Although most people who used NHS 24 were satisfied, others were unclear about how and when to use the service. Further education about the full range of services that NHS 24 offers should be considered.",
author = "Anne McAteer and Hannaford, {Philip C} and David Heaney and Ritchie, {Lewis D} and Elliott, {Alison M}",
note = "{\circledC} British Journal of General Practice 2016.",
year = "2016",
month = "5",
doi = "10.3399/bjgp16X684409",
language = "English",
volume = "66",
pages = "e337--e346",
journal = "British Journal of General Practice",
issn = "0960-1643",
publisher = "Royal College of General Practitioners",
number = "646",

}

Investigating the public's use of Scotland's primary care telephone advice service (NHS 24) : a population-based cross-sectional study. / McAteer, Anne; Hannaford, Philip C; Heaney, David; Ritchie, Lewis D; Elliott, Alison M.

In: British Journal of General Practice, Vol. 66, No. 646, 05.2016, p. e337-e346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Investigating the public's use of Scotland's primary care telephone advice service (NHS 24)

T2 - a population-based cross-sectional study

AU - McAteer, Anne

AU - Hannaford, Philip C

AU - Heaney, David

AU - Ritchie, Lewis D

AU - Elliott, Alison M

N1 - © British Journal of General Practice 2016.

PY - 2016/5

Y1 - 2016/5

N2 - BACKGROUND: There has been no comprehensive examination of the public's understanding of, and attitudes towards, NHS 24.AIM: To investigate the public's use of NHS 24 and explore their understanding of, and beliefs about, the service.DESIGN AND SETTING: Population-based cross-sectional study of adults in Scotland.METHOD: Quantitative data were collected by self-completion postal questionnaire and qualitative data by follow-up telephone interviews.RESULTS: A corrected response rate of 34.1% (n = 1190) was obtained. More than half (51.0%, n = 601) of responders had used NHS 24. Callers were more likely to be female, have at least one child, and be aged 25-34 years. Most calls (92.4%, n = 549) were made out of hours, and 54.6% (n = 327) were made on behalf of someone else. The main reason for calling was to get advice about a new symptom (69.0%, n = 414). A total of 38.6% (n = 219) of users contacted another health professional following their call, mostly on NHS 24 advice (71.7%, n = 157). Over 80.0% (n = 449) of callers were satisfied with the service and 93.9% (n = 539) would use it again.Only 8.4% (n = 78) of responders had used the NHS 24 website and 4.6% (n = 53) the NHS inform service. The main reasons for non-use were not needing the service, a preference to see their own GP, and not knowing the telephone number. NHS 24 was mainly viewed as an out-of-hours alternative to the GP. It was not considered an appropriate service for minor symptoms. The main facilitator to use was convenience, whereas the main barrier to use was not knowing how and when to use the service.CONCLUSION: Although most people who used NHS 24 were satisfied, others were unclear about how and when to use the service. Further education about the full range of services that NHS 24 offers should be considered.

AB - BACKGROUND: There has been no comprehensive examination of the public's understanding of, and attitudes towards, NHS 24.AIM: To investigate the public's use of NHS 24 and explore their understanding of, and beliefs about, the service.DESIGN AND SETTING: Population-based cross-sectional study of adults in Scotland.METHOD: Quantitative data were collected by self-completion postal questionnaire and qualitative data by follow-up telephone interviews.RESULTS: A corrected response rate of 34.1% (n = 1190) was obtained. More than half (51.0%, n = 601) of responders had used NHS 24. Callers were more likely to be female, have at least one child, and be aged 25-34 years. Most calls (92.4%, n = 549) were made out of hours, and 54.6% (n = 327) were made on behalf of someone else. The main reason for calling was to get advice about a new symptom (69.0%, n = 414). A total of 38.6% (n = 219) of users contacted another health professional following their call, mostly on NHS 24 advice (71.7%, n = 157). Over 80.0% (n = 449) of callers were satisfied with the service and 93.9% (n = 539) would use it again.Only 8.4% (n = 78) of responders had used the NHS 24 website and 4.6% (n = 53) the NHS inform service. The main reasons for non-use were not needing the service, a preference to see their own GP, and not knowing the telephone number. NHS 24 was mainly viewed as an out-of-hours alternative to the GP. It was not considered an appropriate service for minor symptoms. The main facilitator to use was convenience, whereas the main barrier to use was not knowing how and when to use the service.CONCLUSION: Although most people who used NHS 24 were satisfied, others were unclear about how and when to use the service. Further education about the full range of services that NHS 24 offers should be considered.

U2 - 10.3399/bjgp16X684409

DO - 10.3399/bjgp16X684409

M3 - Article

VL - 66

SP - e337-e346

JO - British Journal of General Practice

JF - British Journal of General Practice

SN - 0960-1643

IS - 646

ER -