STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

The tragic cost of NHS out-of-hours hotline’s descent into meltdown: Two babies died after parents were given wrong advice – as investigation finds ONE nurse on duty for 2 million people

  • Investigation reveals NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in part of UK
  • Staff shortages mean those with just three weeks training are overwhelmed
  • Hotline has missed answering targets for seven months, affecting 500,000
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment to save them
  •  Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, research finds

The NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in parts of Britain, a Daily Mail investigation reveals today. Chronic staff shortages mean call centre staff with just three weeks of training are being overwhelmed. Lacking medical qualifications, they must follow on-screen computer prompts that often lead to a referral to a nurse. But so few nurses are on standby that at times there is only one to serve as many as 2.3million people.

The hotline, which replaced NHS Direct and deals with urgent cases, has missed its call-answering targets for the past seven months. Half a million patients were unable to speak to anyone at all during this time.

Evidence obtained by the Mail, including shocking testimony from an NHS whistleblower, reveals that:

  • A tick-box computer culture means call centre workers can miss vital symptoms;
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment that could have saved them;
  • Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, with one case of an 11-hour wait for a call back;
  • Nurses have been told to prioritise routine calls over advising on serious cases so they can hit targets;
  • 111 staff believe the service is ‘completely unsafe’.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3252724/The-tragic-cost-NHS-hours-hotline-s-descent-meltdown-Two-babies-died-parents-given-wrong-advice-investigation-finds-ONE-nurse-duty-2-million-people.html

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Former NHS 111 worker and whistleblower Irsah Tahir, 21 has waived her anonymity to raise her grave concerns

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , ,

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