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Man criticises new NHS number after his wife is forced to wait 14 hours for assistance

Man criticises new NHS number after his wife is forced to wait 14 hours for assistance
12th April 2013

A man from West Yorkshire has slammed the NHS's new 111 phone service after his diabetic wife was made to wait more than 14 hours for medical assistance.

80-year-old Geoffrey Peace, a retired builder from Holmfirth, called the service on Sunday March 31st around 8am when his wife Sheila fell ill.

But it wasn't until 10pm that evening that a doctor turned up. Sheila, 78, was diagnosed as having kidney failure and rushed to hospital, where she is now fighting for her life in intensive care.

Mr Peace is also unhappy that he could not get through to a person when he called the 111 service four times between his original call and the doctor's arrival.

"I was very worried about Sheila but every time I rang this new service it was a machine talking at you, you couldn't say anything back," he told the Daily Mail.

"My wife was very ill when she got to hospital. When I went to see her, I thought she was gone. It was heartbreaking."

The NHS believes its 111 line helps patients get in touch with a doctor outside of normal hours more easily, but this appears to have not been the case for Mr Peace.