Feeds

NHS Online consult service to live on: Calls go to 111

Free gov phone-a-lonely-nurse service dropped

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Department of Health has said there are no immediate plans to drop the NHS Direct web service, despite signalling the end of telephone consultations.

It has issued a statement saying that the site, which provides a first stop for medical advice, will remain in operation while the government reviews the wider use of information in the health service.

This follows the confirmation that it plans to replace the NHS Direct telephone consultation service with the 111 telephone line.

A DoH spokesperson said: "Following the publication of the white paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, a further consultation on the NHS information strategy will inform how patients and the public will be able to access online information and services in the future. In the meantime, online services provided by NHS Choices, NHS Direct and local NHS organisations will continue to support other NHS services."

This followed reports that the department is planning to replace the NHS Direct telephone helpline. Health secretary Andrew Lansley said at the weekend that the service, which costs over £120m a year to run, is to be axed in favour of the new 111 service.

Following this, the DoH issued a statement that said: "The NHS 111 telephone number will eventually replace NHS Direct when it is rolled out nationally and will provide a single point of access for all urgent care services. This has never been available before but makes real sense."

It went on to claim: "This is not a cost cutting exercise, but is about providing a better service to patients. We want to put an end to the confusion over what services are available when and where, and provide people with two simple numbers: 999 for emergencies, 111 for everything else."

The move has attracted criticism as the 111 service will be staffed primarily by non-specialist call advisers, whereas NHS Direct uses qualified nurses.

The DoH launched the pilots for 111 in County Durham and Darlington at the beginning of last week. According to a report in The Guardian, it has just one nurse on duty for referrals with up to 25 operators at each of the two call centres used in the pilot.

Further pilots are due to begin later in the year in Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Luton.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV
And insists on $5 million insurance per motor against accidents
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?