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111 line 'puts patients at risk'

The British Medical Association has called on the NHS to delay Monday's launch of the new non-emergency 111 service in England, saying the waiting times and quality of advice are putting patients' safety at risk.

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GPs say NHS 111 will put patient safety at risk

Health experts have asked Sir David Nicholson to delay the launch of the new telephone triage system NHS 111, as they say the crisis affecting the system will put patient safety at risk.

The phone number, designed to direct people with non threatening conditions to the right part of the NHS, will be launched nationwide on Monday.

BMA warns that the NHS 111 number is not yet ready to be launched Credit: Dave Cheskin/PA Wire

But the British Medical Association said problems had occurred during the trialling of the number.

They added that in some areas, switchboards could not cope with the volume of calls, which had also been affected by severe IT failures.

In a statement, the NHS said: "We are confident that measures now in place will ensure resolution of these early problems."

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