Scrap NHS 111 then do it a better way, said GPs at the British Medical Association conference in London yesterday.
They said that while NHS 111 was a great idea it is proving ineffective in practice and a “lost opportunity”, and voted by an overwhelming majority that it should be removed so the money spent on it could be used differently.
Fay Wilson, from the UK GP Committee, said: “NHS 111 is a basic tool we didn’t need and it is a barrier between patients and their care.”
They also suggested if it continues NHS 111 should be subject to reviews “like the rest of the NHS,” and that since it started the number of referrals to both GP practices and A&E has risen.
However in January professor Keith Willett, NHS Engalnd’s director for acute care, said: “NHS 111 is doing an excellent job in terms of protecting both A&E and ambulance services from unnecessary attendances and call outs.
“Last year 111 received over 12 million calls and as a result offered treatment to over two million people who would otherwise have visited A&E, and another 580,000 who would have called 999 for an ambulance, reducing a significant amount of unnecessary pressure on our urgent care services,” he said.