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NHS England announces inquiry into ailing 111 service

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2923 (Published 03 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2923
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

Providers of the new 111 urgent care telephone hotline should face financial penalties or even have their contracts revoked if they failed to demonstrate their ability to meet the required standards for the service, the deputy chief executive of NHS England has said.

Barbara Hakin told the organisation’s board meeting on 3 May that the service had been “undeniably unacceptable” in some areas and that clinical commissioning groups should impose tough sanctions on providers that could not demonstrate improvements against standards.

The warning came as NHS England announced an inquiry into the management and implementation of the non-emergency telephone service, which has been beset by problems since its launch on 1 April, with reports of inappropriate delays in treatment, slow response times to calls, and “severe pressure” on emergency departments.1

In papers accepted at its board meeting,2 NHS …

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