NHS advice line implementation 'given extra time'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The implementation of an NHS helpline is being given more time, it has been revealed.

According to the Department of Health, some parts of the UK that are struggling to get the new non-emergency 111 connection off the ground are to have their deadlines for installation moved back, BBC News reports.

The service is set to replace NHS Direct, but doctors have expressed concerns about the new setup after some callers were left on hold for hours.

Sanctions have already been made by the Department of Health to allow an extra six months to be added to the original deadline of April 1st 2013 for regions having trouble getting the service up to speed - but the British Medical Association's GP committee chair Dr Laurence Buckman has called for the postponement of a wider rollout.

He said: "Patients need to have their calls answered immediately and correctly and not be faced with any form of delay."

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