The LGIU in its morning briefing for me, reports – NHS 111 issues highlighted
A Daily Telegraph investigation into the NHS 111 call service has uncovered a series of issues it says needs addressing, including allegations that call handlers are under pressure not to send out ambulances at certain periods, even when symptoms described matched serious conditions such as heart attacks. The investigation saw a reporter spend seven weeks working at one of the service’s call centres, where he found an instance of an ambulance not being sent to a man suffering chest pains as a computer could not be sure of the cause, while a staff mentor addressed the topic by saying “you can get out of sending ambulances with chest pain quite easily”.
He also experienced ambulances being withheld due to a backlog and examples of staff altering patient responses to avoid sending ambulances. In conversation with colleagues the reporter was told that computer systems had, in some cases, been manipulated to suggest ambulance response times were better than they actually were and that a shortage of ambulances was down to there being too few paramedics. South Central Ambulance Service, which covers the area where the reporter experienced these issues, has launched an independent investigation.