NHS 101 :Bye Bye NHS Direct, Hello rip off merchants

The announcement today that NHS Direct is to pull out of the NHS 111 services should be no surprise to anybody.
As readers of this blog will know the chief executive already had deep misgivings as https://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/exclusive-byebye-nhs-direct-leaked-chiefs-e-mail/ revealed.
It was already clear that private profit making providers were taking over many services – putting in cheapskate staff in call centres who are probably Googling your symptoms on the net as you speak. And a lot of them don’t have qualified medical staff on board on a 24 hour basis. This is certain if you want to cut costs from £20 to £9 a call and make a profit on each call for their directors.
No wonder NHS Direct couldn’t compete and accident and emergency services are flooded with calls.

The statement says: NHS Direct is seeking to withdraw from the NHS 111 contracts it entered into as these have proved to be financially unsustainable. The Trust will continue to provide a range of web, mobile and telephone services for patients which complement NHS 111 and support the NHS. These services are unaffected by the discussions currently taking place.

Nick Chapman, NHS Direct Chief Executive said:
“We will continue to provide a safe and reliable NHS 111 service to our patients until alternative arrangements can be made by commissioners. Whatever the outcome of the discussions on the future, patients will remain the central focus of our efforts, together with protecting our staff who work on NHS 111 to ensure that the service will continue to benefit from their skills and experience.”

I would suggest anyone using NHS 111 for advice should ask the call operator for his or her medical qualifications and quiz her or him about the source of the information. If unsatisfied demand to speak to someone who has medical qualifications, because for every call made to NHS 111 the private owners are making money out of you as a taxpayer. Otherwise be wary of using the service at all.

6 thoughts on “NHS 101 :Bye Bye NHS Direct, Hello rip off merchants

  1. Pingback: It really is, Bye Bye NHS Direct « Alternative News Network

  2. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    When I read this article, there was a tweet from Andy Burnham on the Twitter link to the right of the article, saying: “NHS Direct: a single, trusted #NHS service broken up into 46 cut-price contracts. Sign of what’s coming to rest of #NHS under @David_Cameron.” That’s about the size of this government’s health policy. The advice in the last paragraph of the piece is useful also.

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  3. After watching C4’s Dispatches about NHS111 last night I’m convinced that ringing them is not only pointless but possibly dangerous. People would be better advised to Google their symptoms themselves, if possible, and seek help from their GP – or if its a very serious problem phone for an ambulance.

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  4. NHS Direct pulling out only confirms what I said yesterday (http://wp.me/p3kXkS-6F). Making NHS into a profit-oriented company will never work: money will be wasted and we will suffer. You cannot impose limits on call duration or hire inexperienced staff. Imagine having to make decisions that affect people’s health or even lives without the necessary knowledge or skills.

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