Dorset leads the way in answering NHS 111 calls

31st January 2024

People needing medical help in Dorset are urged to call NHS 111, with new figures showing the local service has the quickest response times in the country.

On average, staff from Dorset HealthCare took less than 18 seconds to answer 111 calls in 2023, with almost all calls picked up in under a minute.

NHS 111 operators can provide expert advice and arrange for people to access the care they need – reducing unnecessary trips to hospital emergency departments and the long waits which may follow. 

Data provided by NHS Dorset has revealed that since April last year:

  • more than 92% of 111 calls have been answered in under 60 seconds
  • the average speed to answer was just over 17 seconds – currently the best performance of any 111 service in England
  • even at the busiest times, all calls were answered with two minutes. 

If you need urgent medical help for something that is not life-threatening and can’t wait to see your GP, support is available 24/7 via or by calling 111.

When you use the 111 service you will be given advice or booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site, such as a minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre.

Dan McKie, Dorset HealthCare’s integrated urgent care operational lead, said:

“Our 111 staff can support you to access the right care in the right place at the right time. This will help reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and avoid people attending there when they don’t need to.

“If you do call at a busy time, please be patient – we will get to your call as quickly as possible.”

If you, or someone you are with, needs urgent care do not hesitate – call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

For more information on local services, visit   

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