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Frequent NHS 111 callers will be given priority GP appointments

Commissioners will have to ensure that patients who repeatedly call NHS 111 will be given a priority appointment with a GP within the hour, under new service specifications for the telephone triage service.

The specifications state that CCGs must ensure than providers put systems in place so that patients calling NHS 111 more than three times in a 96 hour period are given an appointment with a GP within the hour, or assessed for an ambulance.

Pulse revealed last year that providers had been routinely bouncing repeat callers to GP practices during the pilot phase, causing the Government to step in and ensure protocols were followed.

Speaking about the requirements, the GPC lead on 111, Dr Peter Holden, told Pulse: ‘I think it’s a waste of time at a time when we’ve not got resources to waste. The point is there should be a proper triaging method there in the first place.’

Ian Greenwood, NHS 111 Interim National Programme Director said the CSD was not intended to ‘prescribe how commissioners deliver these requirements but to ensure that patients can depend upon receiving the same high quality service wherever they live or access NHS 111 services in England.’

Readers' comments (4)

  • Sorry ?! - oh so if one doesn't get Gp appt keep calling 111. ,!!!

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  • The requirement will be for the CCG to provide appointments not individual practices. It is not part of the GMS contract to ensure an appointment without clinical need.
    Our contract says that we are entitled to decide where and when a patient is seen so a telephone call followed by a " no, you do not need to be seen today" is appropriate.

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  • Clearly demonstrates how out of touch some administrators are !!.
    No wonder the entire health service is on its knees.
    The idiots obviously haven't the wit to work out that now bad behaviour will be rewarded with what the patient wants.
    Maybe 2 appts with the GP then they will get a priority appt without waiting in A+E next !!

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  • I think the issue is supply and demand across all sectors. People have gotten used to a 24 hour, 'I can get what I want', lifestyle. Patients are no longer prepared to make a ny decisions about their o w n health, to the point now that they won't take painkillers for a headache without seeing a gp first. We need to remind patients gp's are people to, and cannot work all the hours under the sun. 111 would be staffed by trained medical professionals who give sound advice from the outset, and not staffed by people who just read out a list of questions. If they are sorted out appropriately in the first place she e it you will reduce the need for them to keep calling back.

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