Coronavirus: James O'Brien caller still can't get through on 111 hotline after an hour

26 February 2020, 16:52

This caller told James O'Brien she might have coronavirus but still couldn't get through to the NHS hotline after being on the phone for an hour.

Colette said she has flu-like symptoms and so, following government advice, she phoned 111 - but had been on the phone for an hour, still without luck.

James attested he'd get on to the ministry of health: "If she's telling us that the official government helpline doesn't even put you through to a human being if you tell them you've got the virus... is that what it is Colette? Press three if you've got coronavirus?"

"I think it's one if you've got it, two if you want to speak to somebody," Colette said, "I've tried all three numbers anyway... I can't get through on any of them."

James acknowledged that most people do recover when they contract the virus but that isn't the reassurance she needs.

The government's coronavirus handout
The government's coronavirus handout. Picture: PA

"No exactly, when do I go back to work? My husband said you need to get tested, so I ring the doctors so they say you need to ring 111, I'm just in limbo. I don't know where to go from here really."

James pointed out that the health secretary Matt Hancock has refused public interviews and Colette's story was an example of why the public deserve to know the government's plan for combatting coronavirus.

He said, "It's a government that has now been infiltrated at every unelected level by people who subscribe to the notion, funded in this country over the last few years by anonymous billionaires that we need to cut taxes, have a smaller government... they're currently in charge and we've got floods and coronavirus."

The Department for Health and Social Care did not respond to requests for comment.