NHS postpones West region out-of-hours GP helpline launch

Ambulances Ambulance crews are being sent to deal with inappropriate cases such as earache and hiccups

Related Stories

The launch of a new out-of-hours GP helpline in Wiltshire and Somerset has been postponed after a series of issues were raised during the trial.

It follows incidents of ambulances being sent to deal with inappropriate cases such as earache and hiccups.

The NHS said it would work with service operator Harmoni to ensure it is delivered to a satisfactory level "as soon as possible".

The private health firm handles calls to the new 111 number from patients.

The non-emergency number combines the old NHS Direct service with surgeries' own out-of-hours arrangements. It was due to begin officially on 19 March.

The number is currently in operation while the firm works on fixing the issues raised.

A spokeswoman for NHS Wiltshire said the situation would be kept under "constant review" until managers were satisfied "an optimal and sustainable level of service" had been achieved.

"We remain committed to making our service with our partner Harmoni a success," she added.

Harmoni said the launch of the new number had created some areas where it had yet to achieve high levels of service.

It added that it was working to address the issues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade

  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?

  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack

  • Lady AlbaGoing Gaga Watch

    Social media's use ahead of the independence referendum

  • Pro Israel activists hold a banner reading 'Against Anti-Semitism and hate of Israel' at a demonstration as part of Quds Day in Berlin, Germany, 25 July 2014'Rising tide'

    Do statistics support claims that anti-Semitism is increasing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.