Some 20,000 people every day are now getting urgent health advice from NHS 111, according to NHS Digital.

Over half of all calls to the phone service received expert assessment from a clinical professional in July this year – the highest proportion since the service was introduced.

The proportion of telephone calls receiving direct input from doctors, nurses and other clinicians has been steadily increasing every month since data was first collected in November 2016, when one in four people spoke to a medical professional.

In July only one in ten callers were advised to visit A&E. Over the same period, during the heatwave, emergency departments recorded the highest ever number of visits to A&E, with more than two million people seeking help in just one month, a five per cent increase on the same time last year.

Members of the public called the NHS 111 service 1.4 million times in July, an increase of eight per cent compared with the same time last year.

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