Skip to main content

Launch of NHS 111 must be delayed as crisis worsens, warns BMA


GP leaders today (Thursday, 28 March 2013) called for Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, to delay the launch of NHS 111 as the crisis affecting the system threatens to put patient safety at risk1.

NHS 111, a telephone triage service designed to direct people with non life threatening conditions to the right part of the NHS within the appropriate timeframe, has been trialled in England ahead of a nationwide launch on Monday, 1 April2. At the same time, Clinical Commissioning Groups are scheduled to assume responsibility for commissioning services in the NHS and oversee the NHS 111 system in their region3.

Dr Laurence Buckman, Chair of the BMA’s GP Committee, said:

“The BMA has written to Sir David Nicholson and asked him to delay the launch of NHS 111 until the system is fully safe for the public. We cannot sacrifice patient safety in order to meet a political deadline for the launch of a service that doesn’t work properly.

“There have been widespread reports of patients being unable to get through to an operator or waiting hours before getting a call back with the health information they have requested.

“In some areas, such as Greater Manchester, NHS 111 effectively crashed because it was unable to cope with the number of calls it was receiving.

“The chaotic mess now afflicting NHS 111 is not only placing strain on other already over stretched parts of the NHS, such as the ambulance service, but is potentially placing patients at risk. If someone calls NHS 111 they need immediate, sound advice and not be faced with any form of delay.

“The BMA is particularly concerned that CCGs will find it difficult to cope with the worsening crisis now gripping NHS 111 when they take responsibility for the service next week.

“CCGs will be taking over a service they did not commission or ask to be set up, at a pressurised time when they are also assuming responsibility for a raft of other services and budgets within the NHS. The government has also made it clear that CCGs will have to foot the bill for any financial costs, such as hiring staff to cover for NHS 111 failures.

“The BMA has been warning the government about the problems with NHS 111 for almost two years. They must act soon to ensure that patient safety is protected.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…