News : 111 Helpline Calls Abandoned
April 23, 2014 -- It is claimed nine hundred patients abandoned calls to Cornwall and the south-west's controversial health helpline in a week.
We are meant to be able to ring 111 for advice if the illness is not serious enough for 999.
South Western Ambulance Service insists handling problems are being fixed.
Redruth dad Andrew is praising the service after he rang about his baby girl: "She had a rash, which was it. We were a bit worried so we used it and they solved it over the phone. It's more convenient than going to A&E and it saves the NHS money rather than wasting time going to A&E for something that might be nothing.
"It was good, it was very helpful. It was late at night so obviously we didn't have to take the baby out in the cold so it was ideal for her really."
David Beet from South Western Ambulance Service told Pirate FM: "We have worked really hard with staff to make sure that our profiling is right so the service will offer good quality service to patients that phone. They will get an answer to their call and they will be able to get the clinical advice that they need.
"We worked really hard over Easter to make sure that Easter weekend went without a hitch and it did. It went very well, again thanks to staff who came in to make sure that those key shifts were covered and what we're doing now it working with staff to make sure that that is a sustained improvement."
He added: "The support from our NHS111 call operators has been amazing and we are all confident that we are making the improvements necessary."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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NHS Direct is a 24 hour health advice and information service provided by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. NHS Direct provides confidential access to medical information, guidance and reassurance through a range of interactive services. These include an expert telephone advice line and detailed web resources.
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