GPs survey: NHS 111 advice helpline putting patients at risk

The new NHS 111 advice helpline is for urgent medical help calls but not a life-threatening emergencies. Credit: NHS

The new NHS 111 advice helpline is putting patients at risk, according to the first results from a survey of doctors.

The service was introduced to replace NHS Direct in England, but almost two-thirds (65%) of 86 GPs polled said their experiences had been "poor" or "very poor".

The survey of GPs in north-east England also revealed 83% said the out-of-hours service was "worse or "much worse" than the previous one.

ITV News' Martin Geissler reports.

On Sunday, health magazine Pulse reported that least 22 "possible serious untoward" incidents - three involving deaths - have been recorded in connection with the line.

Two deaths are being investigated in the East Midlands, and one in the West Midlands.

The system is being reviewed and NHS England has said it is keeping a 'careful eye' on the service.

Read: NHS 111 caller: I had to wait eight hours for help

Read: 'Three deaths' probed in connection with NHS 111 line