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back to article British Medical Association calls for long, slow rollout of NHS 111

The British Medical Association (BMA) has written to health secretary Andrew Lansley over concerns about the implementation of the NHS 111 24-hour non-emergency phone service. The letter, written by Dr Laurence Buckman, chair of the BMA's GPs committee, expresses "serious misgivings" about the roll out of the NHS 111 service. " …

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Silver badge

Given that NHD Direct is already a massive waste

of time and money, 111 looks to be nothing more than something to wave about when the government shuts down more Walk-in Centres and A&Es.

Bah!

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Bronze badge

Re: Given that NHS Direct is already a massive waste

Surely NHS direct is there to keep timewasters and hypocondriacs out of drop in centres, GPs and A&E and, as such, saves huge amounts of money?

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Stop

Re: Re: Given that NHS Direct is already a massive waste (@teebie)

The NHS is not a massive waste! I will fight to last to ensure that it continues to exist in largely its current form, and damn anyone that says otherwise, including you.

The hallmark of civilisation is high-quality healthcare provided free at the point of delivery, and available to anyone, regardless of any consideration.

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Re: Re: Re: Given that NHS Direct is already a massive waste (@teebie)

Nobody said the NHS is a massive waste. They said that NHS Direct is a massive waste, a different comment altogether. NHS Direct costs more than going to see a GP, so in that sense it is a waste, although one must be careful about the scale of "waste" in the NHS. Compared to say, some of the IT programs, NHS Direct costs are minuscule.

If you think the "hallmark of civilisation is high-quality healthcare provided free at point of delivery and available to anyone, regardless of any consideration", then why is it no country provides this? Are there no civilised countries? The NHS is a medium quality service delivered free. Many other countries which are by most counts civilised do not have free healthcare at point of delivery, although it is often heavily subsidised.

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Bronze badge

Re: Re: Re: Re: Given that NHS Direct is already a massive waste

"NHS Direct costs more than going to see a GP"

OK, I wasn't expecting that - I assumed NHS Direct would be cheaper, but it turns out it isn't.

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Thumb Down

NHS 24 is fine

We don't need NHS 111

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Re: NHS 24 is fine

But this is 87 louder </spinal tap>

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FAIL

Here's an idea..

instead of having pointless serf-serving bureaucrats figuring out how the NHS should be structured/funded and then forcing the people who actually have a clue on these matters, why not just tell the BMA/GMC/RCN/RCS/Anyone else to go away and figure it out for themselves. Whitehall will just tell them how much money they've got to spend.

It's almost a credible proposition that the GPs should have more say in how their local PCT is run, but surely by that argument, all the professionals on the business-end of the NHS should have more say in how it is actually structured. The mandarins should just keep well out of it.

Lansley's proposition need only say one thing then; You guys go and build us the NHS you keep moaning that we haven't got. You've got £X billion to spend over the next Y years. Fuck up, and we'll do it as per the previous proposal.

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Meh

Re: Here's an idea..

But then we'd have to do it again, only this time without the £X billion we gave the first time.

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Re: Here's an idea..

Yeah, and it will have taken twice as long..

But, whatever the Govt. tries to do to the NHS is going to cost at least twice as much, and take twice as long, as they say it will at the outset. At least this way we've acknowledged that fact/risk, and given the people most likely to have an idea on what needs to be fixed the chance to fix it.

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Joke

Re: Here's an idea..

Technically, all bureaucrats are serf serving.

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Re: Re: Here's an idea..

If left to the BMA and GP's, we'd still be using quills and parchement paper.

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Coat

0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

Sing along now....

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not saying Lansley's a retard, but I do dislike his actions very much.

And I'm certainly never voting for Ed Miliband, but John Reid instroduced simvastatin over the counter (which for inactive IT types, i.e. men,) is one way of ensuring your lack of hdl doesn't kill you the day you retire. And Patricia Hewitt then banned smoking in pubs, meaning you didn't stink.

So can you buy simvastatin over the counter now? No you can't, because noone sells the over the counter stuff. The identical prescription stuff isn't saleable, but the saleable stuff isn't made, and he hasn't got the balls to meet me (probably because he thinks I'll kick his head in.)

Yet he has junior ministers pushing the spin that the Tories are out to prevent ill health, while simultaneously banning men from extending their retirement, and taking my tax to pay for 800 million pound breast cancer initiatives.

What has Lansley done for men? Less than Gordon methinks.

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Bronze badge

Single Non-emergency number

I thought that 101 was being set up as a single number to report any thing a crime to a gas leak, so why does the NHS need its own.

The point being, you only have to remember 999/911 or 101, not the myriad of 0800, 0845, and so on numbers to report stuff, as the 101 operators would be trained to know if you were describing an emergency and direct you to the right service, or to the right non-emergency number, be it the Gas Board of the local A & E.

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FAIL

Substance free solutions

Looks to me like this is a solution to a problem that they haven't yet decided on.

It sure looks like its got FA to do with making people healthier and everything to do with keeping accountants in jobs.

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Facepalm

And what about 112 then?

It isn't well known, but 112 is due to replace 999 as the standard emergency number. 112 has been active (in parallel with 999) for several years now and 999 will be phased out just as soon as the politicians can find the bottle to do it. Typos of this sort happen at the best of times, but choosing a "non-emergency" number just one digit away from a number that will, in future, get you a stiff fine for "misuse" is either glaring oversight or another clever wheeze to reduce the "deficit" .

Ring 112 by accident to discuss your ingrowing toenail and be fined for wasting time anyone?

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101 / 111

This is only going to cause confusion. First we have 101 for non emergency 999 calls, now 111 for non emergency medical calls. What next, 121 for non emergency fire brigade calls - cat stuck up a tree, smoky neighbour's bonfire? What about 131 for non emergency mountain rescue and 141 for non emergency coastguard?

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Re: 101 / 111

I was going to ask that.

What'll happen to Vodafone voicemail?

SOMEBODY THINK OF THE VOICEMAIL!!!

Possibly merging 111 and NHS Redirect into one thing would be a good thing?

Then merging the 111 and 101 into 101?

Add an extra menu at the start of 101:

Currently I get: "Thank you for calling 101. For Hampshire Police, please hodl the line. For another service, press 1. For Sussex Police, press 1. For Surrey Police, press 2, etc...."

New menu:

For Police, press 1. -> For Hampshire Police, please hold the line. For Sussex, press 1

For Ambulance, press 2. -> For South Central Ambulance Service, please hold the line. For South East Coast Ambulance Service, press 1

For Fire Services, press 3. -> For Hampshire Fire & Rescue...

You get the idea.

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WTF?

Title is optional, hurray!

Who the hell picked 111? Don't they know that every GSM phone sold in Europe must be able to call 112, with or without a SIM installed?

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Facepalm

Foreign Number

111 is the emergency number in New Zealand. I'll contact the government and ask them to conform to the new standards.

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Silver badge

Remember that...

... the only reason 111 wasn't chosen as the Emergency Services number many years ago was that, in the days of pulse dial systems, if the phone lines got blown together in a high wind it was too easy for 111 to be "dialled" by accident (just as you could call a number on a rotary dial phone with a lock on it by tapping out the number on the phone cradle!).

So they picked 999 because it was unlikely to be dialled by accident and it was easy to call it in the dark.

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