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NHS 111 call handling failings

Posted in: Medical Negligence NHS Claims 

The chief executive of The South Western Ambulance Service has admitted to failings surrounding the handling of 111 calls.  He said the service has “failed to deliver the performance required”, particularly in the handling of weekend calls.  In one week alone, nearly 900 people seeking non-emergency advice in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset abandoned their calls due to their poor handling by call staff. The trust is currently reviewing their staff as a result.

Chief executive Ken Wenman said that great changes have to be made to ensure that callers are given the correct information. He said that many factors are responsible for its failing, but that a lack of staffing is the biggest problem.  He said: “the main cause is that we simply do not have the correct number of call advisors and clinical supervisors on duty at peak times during the weekend”.

The SWAST is currently holding talks with current staff to guarantee that there is a sufficient number of staff working over weekends to meet future demands.

NHS 111 Targets and Statistics:

  • NHS targets demand that providers of NHS 111 services answer at least 95% of calls without a 60 second window
  • In the week beginning the 7th of April, 79.6% of calls in Devon were answered in this target timeframe, and 83.58% in Cornwall
  • In Cornwall, 4.14% of callers abandoned their call, and 7.56% in Devon (557 people in Devon alone)

In Cornwall, Andrew Abbot from NHS Kernow, said that many additional doctors, nurses and support workers had been available during the Easter week and he was not aware of any further problems.

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