Peter Kyle – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Peter Kyle on 2015-11-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether any patients in Hove constituency were put at risk as a result of the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust’s project relating to the prioritisation of NHS 111 calls in winter 2014-15.

Jane Ellison

Departmental officials were first notified of a project which was run between December 2014 and February 2015 in the south of England on 23 October 2015 by Monitor, the independent health sector regulator.

We are advised that Monitor is taking action with South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust regarding concerns about the project and the regulator is working with the Trust now to identify the negative impact this project could have had on patients. It is Monitor’s function to undertaken such investigations independently of the Department where there are no immediate patient safety issues. Monitor and Departmental officials regularly discuss such issues on a routine basis.

As part of regulatory action, Monitor advises it has asked the trust to carry out a detailed independent review of the impact the project had on patients. Monitor has asked the Trust to do this with the help of an external expert, who the regulator will select. The full details of what the review will look at and how long it will take are being worked on by the trust and Monitor, including consideration of publication of the review finding.

In March, NHS England convened a risk summit meeting involving all partners following the suspension by South East Coast Ambulance Service of their unofficial call-handling project. It was agreed that NHS England would undertake an external investigation. The report of the investigation was published by NHS England today and is attached.