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BMA calls for national launch of 111 urgent care hotline to be halted

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2077 (Published 28 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2077
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The launch of the government’s new 111 urgent care hotline across England must be delayed until the system is “fully safe for the public,” the BMA has warned, amid growing reports that the service is in chaos ahead of the planned rollout next week.

The BMA’s General Practitioners Committee has reported widespread problems with the new non-emergency telephone line—which has already been “soft launched” in parts of England—including inappropriate delays in treatment, slow response times to calls, and ambulances being called unnecessarily.

The reports have prompted the committee to write to David Nicholson,1 chief executive of NHS England (formerly the NHS Commissioning Board), to urge that the rollout be delayed until concerns about patient safety have been fully dealt with. …

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