THE controversial 111 non-emergency health phoneline received 114,434 calls in December.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) took over the running of NHS 111 in October last year and after three months bosses have now said they were pleased to announce the service is ‘running smoothly and continuing to improve’.

Ian Moses, NWAS head of service delivery, said: “The run up to the festive season is always a very busy time for the Trust and this year was no exception.

“When people reach out for help, the 111 team are there to assist them.

“Our staff really do care about patients and want to do a great job.”

The phoneline hit the headlines last summer after the original provider said the service was ‘financially unsustainable’ but Mr Moses added there was now ‘high levels of public satisfaction’.