Suicidal caller NHS 111 helpline ‘put on hold until they hang up’

Apr 3, 2017

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The NHS 111 call centre undercover reporter at the St Charles Hospital Ladbroke Gove London has 24 ours service for emergencies. According to the report, the call handler caught asleep there are occasions that they set their system as “busy” to avoid call. There are times that the handler told their callers of technical failures. Allegedly a caller who is asking on how she dealt with a suicidal person. According to the report the call handler said “she was crying and I was asking her stuff like, ‘do you not really want to talk’, she was like, ‘no’… I put her on mute”. The department of health said  “clearly completely unacceptable” if found to be true. “The NHS is now urgently investigating and if any wrongdoing whatsoever is found, including criminal actions, we will want to see the police and relevant NHS regulators alerted as necessary”  he added. Simon Douglass, medical director of the London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative, which runs the centre, said patient safety “is, and always will be, our highest priority”. “We take any allegations extremely seriously and have launched an urgent investigation. “All issues relating to staff conduct are extremely important to us, particularly in relation to patient safety. We strictly enforce our policies for managing staff conduct at all times including whenever we receive reports of inappropriate conduct or behavior” Simon Douglass said.