REGULATION: NHS Improvement has launched an investigation into South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, following allegations made by a whistleblower.

The trust’s NHS 111 service was implicated in the death of William Mead, a baby who died of sepsis in December 2014.

An NHS England review found that if different actions had been taken by William’s GP and the 111 service he would probably have survived.

The trust was in the headlines again in February 2016 when a former employee claimed in a Daily Mail article that staff at the trust’s Dorset site were asleep on the job.

In response to the allegations, a Care Quality Commission inspection of the trust was brought forward. The trust also commissioned an independent review into the claims.

HSJ understands NHS Improvement has opened the probe because it wants to act quickly to support improvement if failings are uncovered by the two investigations.

A spokeswoman said: “We are looking into NHS 111 services provided by South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust and the way they are run, to find out whether improvements are needed for its patients.

“We want to make sure that those patients using the trust’s 111 services are getting the very best service possible. That’s why we are looking into the trust’s 111 services ahead of the CQC’s report and the trust’s independent report into its 111 services.”