- West Country (E)
- 3 updates
There's growing concern about the service being offered to patients by the new non-emergency telephone helpline 111.
It was supposed to be an alternative to 999 - removing some of the workload from the overstretched ambulance service and the overcrowded hospital emergency rooms but critics say it's adding more pressure.
NHS departments in the West Country claim they have seen a big increase in 999 calls since the NHS 111 service was introduced.
They say a high number of inappropriate calls were passed on from the new computerised helpline, which is run by a private provider.
They say number were particularly high in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.