Coffee House

The demise of 111 spells trouble for the government

29 July 2013

1:13 PM

29 July 2013

1:13 PM

From David Cameron’s declaration that you could sum up his political priorities in the three letters N H S, to the commitment to increase the health budget every year, the Cameroons have sought to reassure on the health service. They want voters to believe that it is safe in their hands.

This is what gives the row over the NHS’s 111 helpline number its political importance. Labour, still fuming at how the Tories used the Keogh review to attack its record on the NHS, is trying to use the help-line’s problems to show that ‘you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS’.

The other problem for the government is that the failings of the NHS’s 111 service will result in more and more people heading straight to Accident and Emergency, increasing the pressure on that already stretched part of the health service.

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  • anyfool

    Removing GP cover at the same time as flooding the country with immigrants from all corners of the Third World why would anyone be surprised you end up with a shambles.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Given Labour’s failure to even notice the large scale negligent loss of life in the NHS during its period in government its hardly in a position to lecture anyone about managing the NHS particularly over what seem to be staffing problems in an increasingly (militant) unionised environment.

    Whilst I am amongst the first to criticise this dyfunctional and incompetent coalition the dysfunctionality of most of the obese government departments has preceded this government by decades and cannot just be reformed by a few policy changes. The whole culture of the NHS needs to be radically changed and sadly those within it are resistant to such a culture change.

  • HookesLaw

    How can the service be less safe or dangerous to the public or put strain on A&E when its for less urgent cases than 999?

  • Alexsandr

    111 and A&E crises are due to the disastrous GP contract done by labour removing the continuous care requirement from GPs’. So now people cant call their GP when they need to so they use NHS direct or A&E. The out of hours locums dont know the patient so are not that much help really. Most of their decisions are reversed by GP’s later.

    many working people cant get to see their GP without having to take time off work cos the GP work 9 – 5:30. So given the choice between losing a half days pay and going to A&E what do they do?

    its the GP bit thats broken.

    • HookesLaw

      My local surgery is open 8.30 to 6.00 weekdays and 8.30 to 10.45 Saturdays.
      The idea that GPs only ‘work’ those hours is risible. I know.

      Why should people go out of their way to ruin the NHS by needlessly using the A&E service. They can make a small sacrifice and see their doctor at 8,30 or thereabouts or 6pm or thereabouts. or shock horror Saturday morning.
      The fault is not the NHS it is the public (assuming your supposition is correct)

      The practice has 5 doctors 2 nurses and 1 assistant; 4 community nurses and 2 health visitors. it has a lot of resources. The NHS reforms are aimed to put more non urgent resources and clinics closer to the patient.

      • Alexsandr

        i work over an hours drive away at the moment. I got the last nurse appt today at 1615. So would have had to leave work at 1500. Making up 2 hours over the rest of the week would be too much.

        no saturday surgeries here. Monday to fridays only.
        The NHS needs to grow up and realise people work and not 5 minutes away.

        • tele_machus

          So we all agree Hunt needs to get a grip
          Smug Hunt is so busy trying to dawb Burnham that he has forgotten what his job is.
          Cameron stupidly lost public Trust by his inability to control Lansley.
          Now Hunt instead of trying to regain this by putting things right spends his time electioneering

          • Wessex Man

            yep bring out your dead, telemachus wants to push it’s strange political point on the backs of those who really end up suffering as usual.

            • tele_machus

              Point is son that patients are dying day by day as Smug Hunt fails to get a grip

              • Alexsandr

                Smug Hunt? did you hear smug Burnham on Toady yesterday?

                How burnham has the gall to pontificate after his negligence over Stafford beats me,

                • tele_machus

                  Gee Whizz
                  Your gall
                  Worse than the recent Commons gall of smug Hunt who thought it better to slag off Andy rather than get a grip
                  Breathtaking

        • Wessex Man

          as in most of the country, you forget that Hooky lives in LALA Land.

  • Frank P

    If you want to see the future for health care, watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4BEY1lZDyg

    Ever wondered how Obama managed to get elected?

    • Noa

      LOL!
      No doubt a similar campaign here would get the same reaction.

  • Noa

    Like Labour the Conservative party’s electoral policy, largely implemented into the Coalition Agreement, was to ringfence NHS spending whilst ignoring the root and branch reform that is required.

    As with our membership of the EU, a full review and and analysis of all healthcare options is required, but is sadly lacking and will not occur during the life of the coalition.
    So when the 111 Line is shown to be a failure why shoud we be surpised? It is simply the latest sticking plaster to fall off the corrupt and deadly shambles that the NHS has become.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘whilst ignoring the root and branch reform that is required.’

      The government went through a NHS reform. Labour opposed it root and branch. It is also going through a 4 year £20 billion efficiency d=savings programme. i expect when that is over they will start another on

      You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      • Noa

        “Fifty years ago, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom consumedaround 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product
        (GDP) Now, public spending on the NHS is nearly two-and-a-half times greater – amounting to 8.2 per cent of GDP and equivalent
        to seven times more in real terms.”

        http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Spending%20on%20health%20…%2050%20years%20low%20res%20for%20web.pdf

        No government, of any hue, has been prepared to honestly and comprehensively address the ungovernable, titanic mass of the NHS, absorbing as it does nearly one third of all tax revenue and employing 1.4 million people.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12819538

        It has become the millstone around the neck of the Uk economy and popluation and like the major systemic issue of immigration, is a subject upon which governments will not be honest, for fear of the consequences of them doing so.

        • dalai guevara

          Cambridgeshire will be one of the first regions in which NHS Adult and Older Peoples’ Services will be up for grabs. It’s not small beer, but a £1bn private finance affair. No doubt we will see services vastly improve and prices drop, similar to PFI hospital schemes rolled out under Labour.

          • Noa

            Both Conservative and Labour government funding of capital projects through 30 year PPP and PFI lending was economic illiteracy often compounded by contractual incompetence.
            Sufficient empirical evidence is not yet available to judge the benefits of privatisation, but the results Hinchingbrooke have been encouraging.

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/03/hinchingbrooke-nhs-trust-goes-private

            • dalai guevara

              Empirical evidence shows that hospital trust are going bust left right and centre.

              • Noa

                You are confusing contracts with the organisations that manage them.
                Primary Care Trusts were replaced with Clinical Commissioning Groups on 1st April, 2013.

                • dalai guevara

                  i am aware of that. What i am commenting on is the the ever-increasing level of privatisation of national health and its effects.

                • Noa

                  I repeat, we do not yet know the effects.

                • dalai guevara

                  The effects of calling 111 in Greater Manchester are evident.

                • Wessex Man

                  Stop now Noa you are dealing with a very seious half-wit here and it will leave you in need of medical attention!

                • dalai guevara

                  You don’t like my posts, we all gathered that.
                  Is it because (you still believe) I is a Scot?

                • Noa

                  Indeed they are. That was, indirectly, my original point and thank you for reminding us both of it.

  • AnotherDaveB
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