Out-of-hours services swamped by NHS 111, says GPC

Out-of-hours services have been overloaded by the NHS 111 service, the GPC has claimed.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman told a post-GPC briefing: 'A lot of people who provide out-of-hours services feel very keenly that it is generating a lot of work for out-of-hours services.'

One of the problems with the non-emergency phone service is that it is extremely easy to access and people call it without thinking, he said.

'A&E doctors are finding people are being sent to A&E by NHS 111 or NHS 24 who don't really need to be seen by a doctor,' he added.

In some areas it is proposed that patients will be directed to NHS 111 ahead of out-of-hours services, Dr Buckman said. However, in one area the out-of-hours service has decommissioned NHS 111.

Dr Buckman also revealed that the NHS 111 pilot is due to be set up in London, although it remains unclear when this will begin.

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