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NHS 111 implodes as GPC withdraws support for urgent care hotline


NHS 111 is a good idea implemented badly. The problems are 1/ that lay people using Pathways are doing the triaging. Inevitably this is going to be very risk averse - much more so than NHS Direct, and 2/ the CMSDOS ( the directory of services) becomes very complex when implemnented over a large area - this should have been developed and run locally and kept simple. This and the lay advisors mean that calls to our OOHs have gone up 30% plus, with A+E attendances also up. We have had to implement a second tier of GP triage to deal with the vast number of calls, many by advice. We are also having to invest in a Directory of Service that is comprehensive and regularly and pro-actively updated. This is of course costing more money than the previous system. NHS Direct front ended our OOHs service and managed to deal with approx 20% of callers by advice - although we know that this servicde was not without its problems. I met John Oldham at a presentation a year or so ago and warned him that NHS 111, if implemented as it subsequently has been, would result in increases in call volumes and additional costs due to the compensatory mechanisms that GP OOHs and A+E services wouold have to implement to manage the increased patient flows. For me an effective telephone service directing patients around the complex acute care system, giving advices or appts when appropriate (including to minor injuries units and Urgent Care Centres) could have revolutionised the sytems to the benefit of patients and providers alike. This is a real missed opportunity.

Posted date

22 Mar 2013

Posted time