NHS 111 dubbed a 'disaster' by GPs
The NHS 111 urgent care service has faced severe criticism from GPs and been labelled a "disaster" by one of the BMA’s GP negotiators.
Doctors at last week’s National Local Medical Committees’ conference in London heard representatives attack the service because they claimed it was taking too long to handle calls and referring too many patients to GPs.
Dr Peter Holden, one of the General Practitioner Committee’s negotiators, said the NHS Pathways software used by the NHS 111 pilot sites had "promise" but described the pilot project as “a disaster”.
He also told conference goers that the GPC had no negotiating mandate over NHS 111. He added: “The amount of money that’s gone in to 111 just beggar’s belief.”
Dr Reza Chowdhury, a GP in Luton which is covered by one of the NHS 111 pilots, said he had seen statistics that showed an average call length of 20 minutes, with more than 50% of calls referred back to primary care.
He added: “Its increasing our workload hugely and I have concerns about this service if it is extended nationwide."
However, Dr John Grenville, secretary of Derbyshire LMC, told the conference that his area was also running an NHS 111 pilot and he wanted to wait and see what the results showed. The DH is due to report on the NHS 111 pilots in spring 2012.
Representatives supported a motion which claimed that use of the NHS 111 service had the potential to overwhelm GP practices with unnecessary requests for urgent appointments.
The motion also said that using NHS 111 as the first point of access to GP services would result in poorer access and increased patient dissatisfaction.
Last updated: 13 June 2011 12:56
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