HotlinesA survey of NHS Managers and doctors attending Hospital Directions at London ExCeL last week highlighted pessimistic views towards the Government’s introduction of a ‘24 hour hotline’. 

In a survey of 102 respondents, 81% of doctors believed the new 111 patient hotline was not lessening the burden on hospitals. 

The 24-hour hotline, which was introduced in April 2013, was intended to relieve the pressure on A&E departments. In addition to the existing 999 hotline, which deals with more serious emergencies, the new 111 hotline was put in place to deal with urgent but not life threatening health issues. 

The survey also highlighted that NHS doctors and managers don’t believe Jeremy Hunts’ ongoing health tourism debate. Some 71% of respondents believe that health tourism is not a major problem in the NHS and that these claims are being used by politicians to detract attention from more complex and serious issues.

There was split opinion about the NHS being a determining factor in the next general election, with 48% of respondents saying it will be.
 Ralph Collett – Managing Director at Hospital Directions, said: “This survey has highlighted some key discussion points among doctors and NHS managers following the Government’s response to the Francis Report. Hospital Directions 2013 will provide a crucial platform for NHS managers to come together and discuss how best to move forward and achieve change within the NHS.”