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Medical emergency hotline pioneered by former Wyre Forest MP to launch
A “CRUCIAL” phone service, pioneered by a former Wyre Forest MP, for people unsure who to call in a medical emergency is due to launch in Wyre Forest.
The NHS is in the process of rolling out the ‘111’ number nationally and it is due to be available in Worcestershire in the next six months.
Dr Richard Taylor says he led the calls for the healthcare phone line during his time in Westminster. The number is aimed at people who need quick medical help but do not have a “999 emergency”.
“There was a tragedy in Wyre Forest four or five years ago, where there was a death of a child,” said Dr Taylor. “The parents tried different ways to access the health service [outof- hours, NHS Direct] but a diagnosis was never made and the child died.
“I made it clear in the House of Commons if you do not have an A&E in the town and you do not think you are bad enough to call 999, what do you do?
“I am still in contact with the boy’s family and will be able to tell them that at long last something has happened. It is being rolled out just at the time [our acute hospitals service] could be downgraded. It will be absolutely crucial.”
Hansard records show Dr Taylor told Parliament in 2007: “Patients or families in an emergency situation will just dial 999 or take themselves to the nearest hospital regardless of what it is able to provide. I strongly believe what is needed is a single phone number dedicated to patients and services within each network area of emergency care.”
Dr Simon Gates, chairman of Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group, which will bring in the service from next April, said it was “a great idea”.