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News : Devon's Under-fire 111 Call Centre to Undergo Key Inspection
Devon, UK, Feb 17, 2016 -- An inspection is to take place at Devon's 111 service centre following damning allegations of the service.
It came after whistle-blower Sarah Hayes told the Daily Mail about a string of concerns regarding practices at two 111 service centres run by the South Western Ambulance Service Trust – including that in Devon.
The newspaper's website claims that youngsters who had just finished their GCSE exams were brought in by the call-centre to take non-emergency medical calls in order to meet targets, but that they are not qualified to give medical advice.
South Western Ambulance Service rejected some Mail claims ahead of the Care Quality Commission inspection.
The Mail was told that the teenagers had done nothing wrong, indeed they were described as "hardworking", but had "no real way of telling" what was an emergency and when they should advise a caller to ring 999.
Ruth Rankine, the Care Quality Commission's deputy chief inspector, said today: "These allegations are unacceptable. We take them extremely seriously and are planning to carry out an early inspection to investigate."
Ken Wenman, chief executive of SWAS, said the organised "strongly refuted" a number of the allegations made in the Mail but an investigation into some of Ms Hayes' claims has begun.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
About South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust:
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is the organisation responsible for providing ambulance services for the National Health Service (NHS) in the English districts of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Scilly Isles Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The Foundation Trust was authorised on 1 March 2011 by Monitor (the Independent Regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts) to run the ambulance services run previously by the NHS Trust as a result of the merger of the Westcountry and Dorset ambulance services, and the subsequent merger with neighbouring Great Western Ambulance Service on 1 February 2013. This latter merger was announced in 2011, and staff were asked to accept changes in their pay and conditions.
Published: Friday, February 19, 2016