BMA disputes government line that evidence for rolling out NHS 111 was robust

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3131
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The BMA’s General Practitioners Committee has rejected ministerial claims that the pilot study of the new 111 urgent care telephone hotline provided enough evidence to support the national rollout of the troubled service on 1 April.

The new non-emergency service has faced a litany of problems since its launch last month, with NHS England announcing an inquiry into the rollout after reports of inappropriate delays in treatment, slow response times to calls, and increased pressure on emergency departments.1 2

On 13 May the health minister Lord Howe acknowledged that the service had been unacceptable in some areas but insisted that the report into four 111 pilot areas by the University of Sheffield had provided sufficient evidence to proceed with the national rollout across England.3

But Peter Holden, lead negotiator on 111 for the General Practitioners Committee, said that the report, which found that the new service had “not delivered …

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