Commenting on the switchover to NHS111 and the introduction of new open competition rules for the NHS, Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said:
“This week the full chaos of David Cameron’s NHS re-organisation is felt across the country. He broke up a successful NHS and now the new services aren’t ready to take control of patient care.
“Calls to the new NHS 111 service will no longer be handled by qualified nurses and now senior doctors are questioning the quality of advice being given out. Desperate patients, unable to get the advice they need, are left with no option but to turn to A&E – leaving waiting rooms filled with patients who really don’t need to be there.
“The advice line has failed to answer large numbers of calls and suffered IT failures just days before it takes on new duties for the whole country. Worrying questions over patient care standards persist as the popular NHS Direct service is replaced to cut costs.
“From this week, David Cameron has opened the NHS to hundreds of new private companies that risk putting profits before patients. Ministers must focus on resolving these problems so patient safety is not put at risk.”