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NHS 111 still facing problems

11 September 2013

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NHS 111 provider Harmoni is still failing to call hundreds of patients back in some areas, local healthcare groups have learned. 

A report recently heard by Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed that the non-emergency urgent phone line is failing to call back 90% of patients within 10 minutes. 

However, the number of calls answered within 60 seconds had increased. 

Grahame Snelling, chairman of local public health body Healthwatch Kingston said he is concerned by the performance. 

He said: “I think the targets are reasonable. [But] it’s obviously not as good as it should be. 

“I had occasion to use it once myself and thought it worked very well, but clearly that isn’t everybody’s experience. I hope there will be a turn around.” 

Harmoni was due to be issued an improvement notice on August 16 but that has not been confirmed. 

A recent patient experience survey rated the out-of-hours service in the lowest 20% in the country. 

Harmoni’s regional director Dave Tee said: “Harmoni is working very closely with our commissioners to regularly review performance and we feel we are on course to produce the levels of improvement required to ensure all aspects of our service are at the high standard to which we aspire.” 

Last month the government pledged an additional £15 million of funding for NHS 111 in areas where there are problems.