- Photos at call centre where fatal errors were made in William Mead’s case
- Baby died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill
- Ex-manager reveals concerns were ‘repeatedly raised’ about call handler
- Health Secretary says Daily Mail’s new evidence will be ‘fully investigated’
They are the devastating images that shame the NHS out-of-hours service. Taken at the country’s worst-performing 111 centre, they show an exhausted paramedic and call handler fast asleep at their posts – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients.
The pictures were taken at the same call centre where fatal errors were made in the case of baby William Mead, who died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill. They are revealed today as a former manager at the service lays bare the true scale of the blunders that surrounded the tragedy. Sarah Hayes reveals that ‘concerns had been repeatedly raised’ about the member of staff who took the call that led to William’s death – but he had never been suspended. She also says the failings at the 111 service that contributed to William’s death were by no means isolated, claiming that the call centre is frequently mired in chaos. As well as staff falling asleep on the job, she claims, a string of serious blunders were covered up.
The revelations have been met with anger from the parents of William Mead. They had been given written assurances by the head of the 111 service that ‘no concerns’ had previously been raised over the call handler’s performance. Last night they demanded an urgent investigation.
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Worn out: A woman paramedic asleep at the Dorset 111 centre (left) and her call handler colleague (right) – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients