Government ignored all warnings over 111 service July 30th, 2013 admin Latest News Shares Comments Government ignored all warnings over 111 service UNISON, the UK’s largest union today accused the Government of failing to listen to warnings from staff and experts across the health service, over the introduction of the failing 111 service. Right from the start the service has been plagued with problems with trials of the new service too rushed in the Government’s drive to increase private competition. The union is calling for a more integrated approach to out of hours emergency care including 111, GP services, ambulance and A&E services. It is clear that the 111 model is wrong and the contracts should not simply be re-issued. Sara Gorton, UNISON Deputy Head of Health, said: “NHS Direct had run the service for many years with patients getting expert advice from a skilled mix of nurses and call handlers. UNISON warned that the new 111 service would be a shadow of the former helpline, and would come under pressure to reduce the number of nurses and downgrade the levels of clinical help previously available. “The new 111 service has far fewer nurses taking calls and the new service fails to “clinically assess” patients, leading to more patients being sent to A&E and to GP surgeries. “The Government rushed through the trials of 111 in its haste to increase private competition and it is patients who are now paying the price. “NHS Direct has tried to keep up standards by employing enough nurses so it can continue to offer expert advice, but it now says this is financially unsustainable. The new private 111 service does not offer the professional advice and guidance that patients can rely on. This has led to more patients going straight to busy A&E departments, adding to long waiting times, or more people calling the over-stretched ambulance service. “NHS Direct – a trusted provider – is saying it cannot safely provide the service for the money available. This is a clear sign that the 111 model is wrong. These contracts should not simply be re-issued. It is clear that we need a more integrated approach to out of hours emergency care including 111, GP services, ambulance and A&E services. Patients need to have confidence that help is available when they need it and the service needs to be designed to stop individual services becoming overwhelmed.” Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07930717137 Email [email protected] Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news Related Comments comments!