NHS 111 plans need to be paused

Published on Friday, 15 June 2012 10:24
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Royal College of Nursing has reiterated its call for a pause before the move from NHS Direct to NHS 111 services in England.

The comments were made following yesterday's publication today of a Department of Health letter, outlining a decision to extend the roll out deadline for NHS 111 in some cases.

RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said: "The RCN has deep reservations about the move to NHS 111 not least because people calling the service will only speak to someone clinically qualified around a third of the time. We call for this process to be totally paused while the final evaluation report on NHS 111 is published and considered. We ask the Department of Health to publish this report as soon as possible."

At RCN Congress in May, an emergency resolution was passed asking RCN Council to call on the Department of Health to urgently reconsider the replacement of NHS Direct with NHS 111.

The free one-stop number for patients with urgent, but not life-threatening symptoms, is due to be introduced in April 2013.

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