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Local mum waits nearly 21 hours for a call back from 111

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Local mum waits nearly 21 hours for a call back from 111

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Local mum has hit out at the Government after waiting nearly 21 hours for a call back from 111 despite having a child with a very high temperature.

Kerry Pinder-Day, who lives in the Totnes area, called 111 on 2 January after her son JJ woke up “hot” and paracetamol wasn’t bringing the temperature down significantly.

Kerry explained: “His temperature wasn’t coming down much and he was getting drowsy and sleepy so I called 111 at around 1pm.”

JJ, 4, who struggles with some sensory issues, has a problem taking Calpol due to the texture making him vomit so Kerry has paracetamol suppositories for him instead, but she was running low and so she contacted 111 to ask their advice.

“I was on hold for an hour and then I finally got through to someone and they said a doctor would call me back in an hour or two”, Kerry explained. “I had given him a suppository at around 12 noon and at 7.30pm his temperature was 39.8 and still climbing so I gave him my last one and called 111 back. They told me I was still on the waiting list.

"It was frustrating because I knew it wasn’t a real emergency and he didn’t need to go to A&E, I just needed some advice and to be able to get some more suppositories.”

JJ when he was ill on the sofa - credit Kerry Pinder-Day 

Kerry thinks JJ’s temperature topped out at around 40.6. She said that his brother Ollie suffered from febrile convulsions, a type of fit that can be brought on by a fever or getting too hot, so that added another worrying dimension to JJ’s condition.

JJ's temperature on the thermometer - credit Kerry Pinder-Day 

“I received a courtesy call at 9.45am and told them that his temperature was still high so they said I would receive a call during the night, so Kerry stayed up, dozing while sitting up so she didn’t miss a call from the doctor. At 8am she still hadn’t received a call, so she called Catherine House Surgery in Totnes to make a GP appointment.

“I received a text message at 9.20am to say that ‘111 is unable to assist you’ and if I needed to I should call 111. Despite the fact that they just told me they couldn’t assist me! Luckily, by that time I had arranged a GP appointment for 11.30am.”

After visiting the GP in the morning, JJ was given antibiotics and he has improved and was almost back to his old self.

When asked what she would say to 111, Kerry said: “It’s not their fault, they’re underfunded by the Government and they’re letting them down, and everyone who needs them. It’s worrying.” and added that her local doctor’s surgery was “really great”.


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