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Independents' Day

NHS 111 must be scrapped, say LMC leaders

NHS 111 should be scrapped with no attempt made to salvage the current service, GP leaders have overwhelmingly said.

Voting at the annual LMCs Conference in London today - which sets the agenda for the year’s GPC negotiations - representatives from Somerset LMC proposed that ‘NHS 111 in its present form should be scrapped’.

The proposal was to be voted on in four parts on how the service should be reformed, including re-commissioning it as a local service, integrated with unscheduled care, using clinical advisors.

But Dr Faye Wilson - an ex-chair of the LMCs conference and a leader of an out-of-hours organisation - said that the conference should vote on it to be scrapped ‘full stop’.

It comes on the same day that Pulse revealed that three-quarters of NHS 111 referrals were inappropriate, according to GPs.

Proposing the motion from Somerset LMC , Dr Sue Roberts told delegates: ‘We get the out of hours GPs re-triaging 111 calls, we should get it right first time, and the obvious answer to this is to have triage integrated with the unscheduled care providers, with clinicians at the front line.’

Dr Wilson said that 111, ‘like communism’, was a great idea that had not been borne out in practice.

She told delegates: ‘Two thirds of patients we see in out of hours are forced to use NHS 111 to get in, and despite the fact that we lost funding - because we don’t now handle these calls - we spend as much time sorting out queries, checking information and making outgoing calls, as we used to do handling the calls.’

She added: ‘It should be scrapped. Full stop.’

By suggesting modifications to the service, the impact of the call for the scheme to be scrapped ‘is watered down to a homeopathic level.’

Also opposing the parts of the motion, Dr Sian Whyte of Buckinghamshire LMC told delegates: ‘NHS 111 in its present form should be scrapped, and any other proposed forms strangled at birth.

‘Repatriate the vast sums of money wasted on this folly to grassroots general practitioners and out of hours providers, who will provide better care for less money.’

Motion in full

SOMERSET: That conference believes that NHS 111 in its present form should be scrapped.




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Readers' comments (9)

  • the problem with that is that the argument will then be where should the 'demand' go?

    - to A&E they can't cope
    - to usual GP - nope - can't cope
    - to walk-in / darzi centres? they are closing down or short staffed and only operate 8 to 8 - can't cope

    the amount of money needed to manage the demand is not available - to fund and house the number of GPs required will be colossal and we are short of GPs.

    be careful what you wish for as if i was NHSE i would say ok we will scrap 111 - but it's up to CCGS to manage it - and who do you think they will get to deal with the demand ?

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  • Drachula

    The CCGs were required to implement NHS111. They are, by and large, aware that the money is badly spent but have no control over this requirement. If the requirement to have 111 were scrapped the CCGs could then decide what to do instead. However, I do not believe that many CCGs have the nous to do a sensible job!

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Does anyone give a tinker's cuss for what the LMC conference says?

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  • John Glasspool has encapsulated the present malaise in the profession in a nutshell. Unity is strength, politicians know this better than anybody.

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  • We will never satisfy the ever increasing demand for faster immediate access. There is no limit, as I have found providing same day access.

    Co-payment HAS to be brought in.

    I wonder if we are to here something along these lines in a month or two....there has been a lot of talk about Personal Health Budgets....if this happens it must be for GP as well as Hospital Care or the crisis in GP will continue

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  • pay me a fee for service- a fee for each patient encounter i have, a fee for each visit i perform, a fee for each procedure i perform, and ill happily run the 111/ OOH/ NHS working 12 hours a day!!!

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  • Totally agree, fee for service. Only problem, it would bankrupt the country

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  • 111 should be scrapped. Every OOH doctor will say this. It is the biggest failure NHS has had. We as doctors are very quickly sent to GMC. GMC "protects the public" from doctors. Can I ask, does GMC protect the public from 111? How much and how many risks is imposed on patients by 111 and the pathway used by 111. We as OOH doctors see it.
    111 has made the public stop thinking, has created such a dependency that we are simply not coping.

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  • LMCs demanded that NHS Direct was scrapped - you got NHS 111 instead

    if they scrap NHS 111......

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