Intended for healthcare professionals


Reliance of 111 on non-clinical staff has increased pressure on emergency departments, MPs say

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 24 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4717
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The 111 urgent care telephone hotline has failed to relieve the pressure on accident and emergency departments in England since its introduction in April and needs to be remodelled to give greater priority to early clinical assessment, MPs have concluded.

In its report on urgent and emergency care services, published this week,1 the House of Commons health select committee said that the reliance on non-clinically trained staff to triage 111 calls had led to some patients attending emergency departments unnecessarily.

The inquiry has been prompted by growing fears about the strain being placed on emergency departments and comes after the College of Emergency Medicine warned that problems with the new urgent care hotline had contributed to the “severe pressure” on emergency departments.2 3

MPs concluded that NHS 111 was introduced “without a sufficiently …

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