“Patients can’t get through on the phone, or they are hanging on for ages, or when they do get through they talk to a lay person who is working a computer programme rather than getting put through to a Doctor or a Nurse. Patients when they do this are sometimes incorrectly placed either they are sent to Hospital when they don’t need to go or a 999 Ambulance is called when it isn’t needed or they are told to see their GP immediately when that isn’t necessary and what this is doing is freezing up the system so Casualty’s are filling up with people who shouldn’t be there Ambulances are filling up with people who don’t need an Ambulance and GPs are being inundated with people who don’t need to be there”
Dr Lawrence Buckman, General Practitioners Committee Chairman talking to Sky News about the problems being encountered with the launch of the new 111 service.
The only thing I think needs to be added to this assessment is that because of the actions being taken by whoever is in charge of the NHS Direct website there are also people entering this already frozen system who don’t need to be and probably wouldn’t have been if they had just been left to find the information that they had been visiting the NHS Direct website for.
The solution to this blunderous waste of healthcare resources is obvious: Triaging should be done by the most experienced Clinicians.