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News : Talks on Dorset's Troubled 111 Call Centre
Dorset, UK, March 7, 2016 -- Two health bodies have agreed to work more closely following crisis talks about Dorset’s troubled NHS 111 call centre.
Senior members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) met executives from South West Ambulance Service Trust to discuss their concerns.
The St Leonards’ call centre has been at the centre of a storm following the tragic death of one-year-old William Mead from Penryn in Cornwall.
His worried mum called 111 when he was ill and a call handler at the centre, which is one of two covering Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, failed to realise how ill he was. The little boy died of sepsis hours later.
Pictures later emerged of staff apparently asleep at their desks and teenagers with tinsel in their hair taking urgent calls over the Christmas period.
Senior RCN officer Steve Pulsford wrote to executives at the trust in December and they agreed to meet him on February 29.
Following the meeting a joint statement from the two bodies was released.
It read: "A productive meeting between the South West Ambulance Service and RCN took place on Monday.
"The meeting was arranged to discuss the concerns of RCN members working in the trust about the NHS 111 service and the two organisations have agreed to work more closely in future.
"Measures agreed include the set-up of working groups at SWASFT to look in detail at the concerns that have been raised.
"SWASFT has given assurances that RCN members working for the trust will be included in these groups.
"Regular monthly meetings will be arranged between SWASFT executives and the RCN senior officer for Devon to monitor progress."
An investigation has also been launched by the Care Quality Commission into the service.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - Consultancy Advice
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.
About Royal College Of Nursing:
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is a union membership organisation with over 395,000 members in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1916, receiving its Royal Charter in 1928, Queen Elizabeth II is the patron. Most members are registered nurses but student nurses and healthcare assistants are also admitted.
Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2016