Doctors' concerns over NHS 111

Doctors in the North East have raised concerns over the new NHS helpline 111. It replaces the services provided by NHS Direct, which will end in June.

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80% of North East GPs say NHS 111 is "worse" or "much worse" than before

Doctors in the North East have raised concerns about the new NHS helpline 111.

Eighty percent of North East GPs who responded to a survey said out of hours services were "worse" or "much worse" than before the telephone line was introduced.

Nearly two thirds said their experience was "poor" or "very poor" - just two said it was very good.

The North East was the pilot area for the advice line last year before it was rolled out across the country.

It replaces the NHS Direct advice line, which ends in June.

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NHS urge trust in 111 service

NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cunningham has told ITV Daybreak that "people should not lose confidence in the [NHS 111] service."

At least 22 "possible serious untoward" incidents - including three where a patient died - relating to the new NHS 111 advice line, a health magazine reports.

The deaths are being investigated. NHS England is keeping a 'careful eye' on the service.

Ms Cunningham added: "The three individuals will clearly need to be investigated and we need to see what really happened in those cases."

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What is the NHS service 111?

  • For urgent medical help calls but not a life-threatening 999 emergencies.
  • Unlike 999, the service only offers access to health services, with the police operating on their own 101 non-emergency helpline.
  • Replaces the services provided by NHS Direct, which will end in June.
  • 111 operators are able to dispatch ambulances when appropriate.
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