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NHS 111 service told it must improve

16 June 2016
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • Public

We have told South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust that it must make significant improvements to protect the safety of people using its NHS 111 services.

The service, which covers Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has been rated overall as Inadequate.

We found that there were often not enough staff to take calls, or to give clinical advice. Staff reported working long hours, and there was high staff turnover and sickness rates.

Too many calls were abandoned, and patients were waiting too long for their calls to be answered and to be assessed, or to receive a callback with appropriate advice. There was a risk that patients needing urgent attention were not given priority.

Following an inspection we issued a Warning Notice requiring the trust to ensure that calls are responded to in a timely and effective manner, with enough suitably qualified staff on duty who are supported to deal with the volume of calls.

Last updated:
29 May 2017