NHS Direct Shut Down – What Are Your Thoughts?

Flame Health would like to know your thoughts on the possible shut down of the NHS Direct 24 hour nurse led service.
Last year NHS Direct cost more than £120 million to run, speeding up the eventual termination of the phone lines. This has put the future of up to 1,400 nurses in uncertainty. As well as the callers who rely on this service.
The new 111 phone line is currently being trialled in the North East region, with further trials to be carried out across the UK over the next 3 years. This new service will employ fewer qualified nurses and will turn to non specialist call advisors.
The NHS Direct took more dentistry calls than any other area, so arguably dental health will suffer the most. As well as potential local PCT cuts, it asks the question, who can successfully fill the void? The National Dental Helpline (staffed with qualified dental nurses) has dealt with more than 250,000 calls since it started.
How do you feel about this change? Do you feel the new NHS 111 service is an adequate replacement? Please let Flame Health know.

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