NHS introduces online coronavirus advice tool

A new online tool has be launched to support people get quick, reliable advice about coronavirus, following a surge in enquiries.

NHS England said more than 35,000 people used the NHS 111 site in a single day over the weekend to get help and advice and the new online tool has been used over 70,000 times since launching on Wednesday.

NHS England is also funding 500 additional initial call responders with the capacity to answer around 20,000 more calls every day.

Enquiries jumped by a quarter after advice for travellers who have been in Italy changed last week.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said “NHS staff are working round the clock to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. We know that 111 call volumes have been high and people have understandably turned to the service for help, support and advice which is why we are ploughing in £1.7 million to increase staff available to field calls.”

“The public is also now benefitting from the new NHS 111 online service which is helping increase capacity and free up clinicians time by offering specific help and advice on coronavirus at the touch of a button and has already had more than 70,000 hits since launched on Wednesday.”

The NHS has also recently introduced new “drive-through” centre that has started operating in west London.