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Lib Dems call for NHS 24 helpline to be scrapped

12 October 2007

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The Scottish helpline NHS 24 should be scrapped and replaced by a new system, Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen has claimed.

In a speech to the party faithful, he said his own family have been put at risk under the current arrangements, and called for a new system of delivering around-the-clock healthcare.

However, the father-of-four gave no further details of what happened to his relatives.

But Mr Stephen did say the “misnamed” NHS 24 is trying to cover for a “glaring gap” in local care.

He added: “I want to see GPs, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other health professionals come together to design a new model that provides all patients with safe, accessible 24 hour local health care that removes this false and sometimes dangerous barrier between in-hours and out-of-hours services.

“I have seen it threaten the safety of my own family and take the lives of too many vulnerable people, young and old alike.”

It comes as the service has been criticised recently following the death of a toddler who died from meningitis.

As reported on, a fatal accident inquiry ruled Kyle Brown, from Edinburgh, could have been saved if NHS 24 staff had called for an ambulance.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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