– British Red Cross Managing Director Mike Adamson
The 111 service is an absolutely vital source of information and reassurance to the British public, especially for those who cannot easily get out and about to visit their GPs.
If people don't have confidence in it, or if it's not available in their area, then they will present at A&E instead, putting further strain on already stretched services.
The British Red Cross is calling on the government to ensure more preventative services are in place for everyone in or at risk of a health crisis, and the 111 line is one of them.
The troubled NHS 111 telephone service was thrown into turmoil today as one of its main providers, NHS Direct, announced it was seeking to "withdraw from the contracts it entered into".