NHS Direct to be scrapped31st August 2010
The government has confirmed that it is to get rid of NHS Direct and replace it with a new 111 number.
In the course of a visit to a hospital in Hampshire, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley informed the press that the 111 service would have a national roll-out.
The service is already in use by the NHS in County Durham and Darlington, where it acts as a supplement to the existing emergency and NHS Direct numbers.
People who call the 111 number are connected with staff via the NHS Pathways system.
Pilot trials of the service will be carried out in Luton, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire this winter.
The Royal College of Nursing said the government's plan was "short sighted" and added that the nurses from NHS Direct had stopped over 1.5 million people from visiting A&E unnecessarily and had saved the health service over £200 million.
The College's chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: "NHS Direct has developed over many years into a service that patients really value. We would be extremely concerned if the expertise it offers is indeed under threat."
MPs said the 111 service would cost less and would be an improvement on NHS Direct, as it would enable people to be connected directly to a portfolio of advisers.
Nick Chapman, the chief executive of NHS Direct, informed the BBC: "More value for money doesn't necessarily mean that something will be worse. It will be a more seamless service."
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Saturday 4th September 2010 @ 10:01
As an ex NHS direct employee I can talk with knowledge about this issue. The company has major problems in retaining staff and waste resourses on on going training. It is run like a cheap call centre. The systems are dated and those so called highly trained nurses are only allowed to say what is on the computer screen like a scripted call centre, so information is limited. This service takes away individuals common sence, if your sick access services through the NHS choices website, instead individuals call NHS or as I call it Nanny Direct wait up to 24 hours for a call back, they are then asked rediculous questions irrelevant of your condition to be told, see your doctor today or tommorrow?? This country has a fantastic health service, including walk in centres, A & E, Gps, Nurses in Gp clinics and the new 111 service. So what purpose does NHS direct serve apart from wasting time, money and effort. Educate the public to look after themselves and take resposibility for their health. Educate them on what sevices are available through tv and media. One last point is get those highly skilled nurses out of call centres and back into front line care, looking after the sick and invest the money in health care. I dont agree with everything this goveernment is doing but this is a very good move for the NHS.
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Title: NHS Direct to be scrapped
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 15931
Date Added: 31st Aug 2010