NHS 111 service in Bath: Calls 'not answered in time'
Calls to the new NHS non-emergency 111 line for the Bath area are not being answered quickly enough at weekends.
The failures were highlighted in a report to the local authority about the service provided by Harmoni.
Only about 50% of calls were answered within the required 60 seconds.
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, which employs Harmoni to run the service, has not said what if any sanctions could be imposed if the firm does not meet requirements.
Harmoni has apologised and said it had put an improvement plan in place.
- The free one-stop number is for patients with urgent but not life-threatening symptoms
- This includes people needing fast medical help but who are not a 999 emergency
- Trained advisers who answer the phones offer basic health advice and direct the caller to the most appropriate service for their needs - A&E or GP out-of-hours services, for example
Tony Clarke, who sits on Bath and North East Somerset's Wellbeing and Policy Development panel, said the service would be reviewed in September and the panel expected "the service to working properly then".
The joint report highlighted a problem at weekends with absenteeism and staff sickness given as possible reasons for the performance of the service.
NHS 111 has also experienced complaints in other areas of the country about lack of staffing and training.