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Call to delay NHS 111 number

28th March 2013

The British Medical Association (BMA) says the planned go-live date of the NHS non-emergency 111 number should be put back.

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In a letter to the health service's chief executive Sir David Nicholson, the BMA said that doctors were worried about the service, which is due to launch on Monday.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, told the BBC that the 111 service was proving to be a "chaotic mess".

"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," he said.

"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 quality of advice being given out has also been questionable in some instances." 

 

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