NHS 111 operator mistakenly advises Berkshire hospital was closed

Image source, Andrew Smith
Image caption,
James Scobie who lives five minutes from the hospital was told he had to travel to a hospital 35 minutes away

An NHS 111 service has been mistakenly redirecting patients to hospitals in other towns because of an evacuation that ended nine hours previously.

Part of Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital was evacuated briefly on Thursday morning due to a gas leak, but had fully reopened by about 12:30 BST.

James Scobie from Reading, called the 111 service at 20:30 BST after twisting his ankle and was directed to a hospital 20 miles away, by an operator.

The 111 service declined to comment.

Mr Scobie who lives five minutes from the Royal Berkshire Hospital contacted the BBC to say he had been preparing to take the 35 minute drive to Frimley Park in Surrey when his housemate searched for information about the closure on the internet.

He then called the hospital directly to check and was told A&E was in fact open.

The BBC understands from the hospital that no wards were affected by the "localised" evacuation earlier in the day.

The service operator, South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), said it would respond directly to the patient if he contacted them, but would not offer any further comment to the BBC.

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