111 – where’s the evidence?

Calling 111 instead of your GP? New plans  say that we will not be allowed to operate our own appointment systems but to have a call centre do it for us.

Call centres work to PROTOCOLS. We in our practice work because the receptionists know people who are a bit vulnerable or chronically unwell – and we, the GPs, know it too. It is not a perfect system – but we try our best to be flexible and to fit into the community we work in.

What on earth is a call centre compared to that? And of course the next move will be to spend several hundred thousand on management consultants telling the NHS to outsource it to the private sector or abroad. The doctors involved in the pilot say that it will free receptionists to do ‘more important’ duties – such as what? Booking and organising appointments is a fundamental piece of general practice work. I despair.

3 Responses to “111 – where’s the evidence?”

  1. Anna February 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    It would be appear to be media hype Margaret and I am suprised The Telegraph joined in. Please see http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Statements/DH_124257

    Anna :o]

  2. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney February 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    unfortunately I think that there are plenty of GPs who would be happy for it to happen. see here
    several GPs have confirmed this.

    There are desires within the DoH for this to happen; alas. I fear it’s only a matter of time, but I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Anna February 11, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Isn’t it odd how the wind changes? I am thinking of this article http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=23&storycode=4127786 which generated a raft of comments – the greatest ever I believe.

    What has changed?

    Anna :o]