More than 550 GPs sign up within 24 hours to support NHS111

More than 550 GPs have signed up within 24 hours to take calls for NHS 111 as the coronavirus outbreak drives a surge in workload for the service.

GP phone consultation (Photo: Martin Prescott/Getty Images)
GP phone consultation (Photo: Martin Prescott/Getty Images)

GPs are being asked to 'pledge an hour' if they can spare any time to volunteer to help NHS 111.

The wave of GPs signing up to support the service came after Watford GP Dr Simon Hodes put out a call via social media for GPs to help ease the strain on 111 and in turn keep patients out of hospital.

Hundreds of GPs have responded - volunteering to take on extra duties on top of their existing workload by speaking to callers to the NHS 111 service.

One volunteering GP who asked to remain anonymous said: 'I feel that we currently have some potential capacity in primary care and I would like to help divert all patients possible from using frontline services either at the hospital or 111.'

GPs wishing to sign up to support NHS 111 can do so via the website - a site set up by former A&E doctor Dr Kit Latham, whose company Credentially has provided services for free to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We know everyone is working as hard as they can in these unprecedented times. If any GP feels they have an extra hour, and feel they can spare it, we're asking them to sign up - as every hour counts.’ said Dr Latham.

‘We want to offer our tech in service of anyone who is trying to build an emergency healthcare workforce of volunteers, returning retirees or student doctors and nurses, enabling them to automate the process, including sign-up, verification and training, so they can start working as quickly as possible. We are asking any GP that has a spare hour to sign up, and join the fight against the virus.’

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