Welsh Government has confirmed in response to a question from Rhun ap Iorwerth MS that the NHS non-emergency number 111 will not be introduced in north Wales until 2022, a year later than expected.
The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board area was always going to be among the last areas for 111 to be rolled out – it has happened in stages across Wales – now the delay means patients in the north being let down.
Patients in the north have been able to call 111 to discuss Covid-19 issues, although there have been reports of difficulties getting through, but delaying the full service further means additional costs and an inferior service for patients in the north for another year.
Rhun ap Iorwerth said:
“This was always going to be a phased rollout but to wait another year in the north is unacceptable. This is a vital service, but patients in north Wales will have to continue to pay for calls to NHS Direct to seek non-emergency medical advice.”