MP George Eustice backs calls for NHS 111 number after death of Kyra Madsen
A GRIEVING father's calls for the county to urgently get the new 111 NHS telephone helpline following the death of his daughter have been backed by his MP.
George Eustice, MP, said he was saddened to hear the tragic story of 26-year-old Kyra Madsen, who collapsed and died of a brain haemorrhage at the end of the summer.
The West Briton reported last week on calls from her father, Steve Madsen, of Lower Parc, Gweek, to introduce the 111 number.
He said he wished he had been able to talk to someone and get the right medical help for his daughter on the evening she collapsed.
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The family believed the mother of two's symptoms of a headache and vomiting were caused by sunstroke after a day on Poldhu beach.
Now, Mr Eustice, MP for the Camborne and Redruth constituency, which also covers Gweek, said: "I was extremely sorry to hear of what had happened to Kyra Madsen and my thoughts go out to her family who are dealing with such a devastating loss.
"I believe Mr Madsen has raised a really important issue regarding the 111 advice line.
"While I understand that talks to extend the service to Cornwall originally fell through, I can confirm that I have written to the chief executive of NHS England outlining what happened to Kyra.
"I have asked for further information on when a helpline will become available and to press for this as soon as possible."
Mr Madsen said that Cornwall, as a major holiday destination, needed the 111 system that has been set up elsewhere in the country. Cornwall had been due to get the service this year, but talks with NHS Direct to run the helpline fell through in May.
A spokesman for NHS England said it was a matter for NHS Kernow, the commissioning group for Cornwall.
NHS Kernow's director of operations, Andrew Abbott, confirmed the service had been delayed. He said: "The launch of the NHS 111 service was delayed in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly while we worked with NHS England and the service provider, NHS Direct, to ensure that our patients did not experience any of the issues being reported across the country.
"During this review it became clear that NHS Direct could not deliver its contract for NHS 111 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. NHS Direct will not provide our region's NHS 111 and we are now in active negotiations regarding implementation of an alternative service." In Cornwall, all non-emergency concerns can go to NHS Direct on 0845 4647.