PERFORMANCE: Performance of NHS 111 services in Oxfordshire have been “variable” over the winter due to issues around staffing availability and call distribution.

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire primary care trust cluster board papers said “commissioners have worked with both [111] providers to ensure we have an agreed demand model and to set the parameters (performance, call length) to convert demand into staffing requirements.

“The service was affected by some telephony issues in the weekends just before Christmas.

One was caused by the failure of a circuit board, causing “difficulties” for about 24 hours and disruption to practices.

The papers said: “The following weekend it was discovered that some of the ports carrying the 111 number were not working; this has now been resolved and is checked daily.

“The main focus for the NHS 111 service was to ensure service delivery over the Christmas and New Year Bank holiday periods.

However, “It was challenging for South Central Ambulance Service to fill the rotas for some key dates and there was also significant sickness.

“Though the service coped over this period the performance [calls answered in 60 seconds] was poor and the out-of-hours [GP] service provided back-up.

“The NHS 111 Programme Board… will review the planning that took place for Christmas and see how this needs to be built on for future holidays.”