Your pages and website have all been given to the widespread concerns about the new telephone number for health NHS 111.
This system, I hesitate to use the word “service,” is an example of the government’s determination to put all NHS services out to tender in the market and demonstrates some of the problems that pose a serious risk to the NHS and to our health.
Even before the new telephone number was introduced problems were predicted.
As we all now know call handlers were completely overwhelmed by the number of calls. Shropshire has been given a temporary reprieve.
For one month ShropDoc has taken back the handling of out of hours emergency calls.
Some parts of the country have not been so fortunate.
I have heard from colleagues elsewhere of calls ringing for an hour without answer, of call-handlers who have no concept or understanding of the seriousness of the condition that has prompted the telephone call and of delays of six or seven hours before the service rings back.
In desperation patients go directly to the hospital Accident and Emergency Department.
It is little wonder that these departments are now also struggling.
We know too, that a number of deaths are being investigated to see if NHS III is wholly or partly to blame.
If your readers wish to retain ShropDoc they must take action now.
Write to your MP and to Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and tell them what you think.
The address is Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, William Farr House, Mytton Oak Road, Shropshire, SY3 8XL.
If you are not sure, then ask your doctor what he or she thinks about it.
Dr Charles West