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Undercover investigation raises 111 concerns, Jeremy Hunt asks public to befriend the elderly, and obligatory heatwave warning

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

The Telegraph reports that South Central Ambulance Service has launched an investigation into its 111 service after the paper sent undercover reporters to train and work as call handlers finding potentially serious lapses.

Among the issues alleged by the Telegraph were call handlers changing patients’ answers when recording them because they ‘did not believe’ the caller was answering honestly. And pressure to hit targets leading ambulance dispatchers to doctor response times, and call handlers rephrasing questions to achieve certain answers.

James Underhay, the Director of Strategy, Business Development, Communications and Engagement, at SCAS said staff received a ‘comprehensive programme of training’ and that clinicians were on hand to support decision making.

The Guardian reports that, in a speech today, Jeremy Hunt will appeal to the public to consider inviting elderly strangers to live with them, to reduce isolation and the number of pensioners dying a ‘lonely death’.

He will also appeal for the public to take greater responsibility for their own health and look to self-care rather than turning to the NHS.

Pulse has already shown how cuts to community nursing and social care in the last parliament have forced GPs to take on more responsibility for elderly patients.

And the obligatory heatwave health warning, as the Independent reports UK temperatures could hit 36C today, with temperatures set to soar across Europe.

A level three weather warning has been issued, triggering additional support for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and young children, who have also been urged to avoid going outside between 11am and 3pm.

To complete the British summer/extreme weather trifecta Wimbledon spectators have been warned to protect themselves against scorching temperatures and Network Rail has warned of potential for delays as steel rails expand.

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