NHS Direct Comments on NHS 111 Rollout Deadline

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NHS Direct comments on BMA press release regarding NHS 111 rollout

Commenting on the BMA press release - ‘Relax April 2013 deadline for rollout of NHS 111’ - Nick Chapman, NHS Direct Chief Executive, said:

“NHS 111 has the potential to make it easier for patients to access advice. However the results of the pilots need to be available before Clinical Commissioners commit to long term contracts to deliver NHS 111 in their area. It would be extremely worrying if the opportunity to learn from the pilots, and make appropriate changes, was lost because of unrealistic rollout deadlines.

“Patients really value being able to get advice they trust on the telephone and web. That may be swift onward referral to another health service or advice that allows them to look after themselves at home safely where this is appropriate.

“NHS Direct is leading on four of the seven pilots, and the preliminary results are showing us that the service refers more patients for face to face care than existing services. As a result of this, changes will probably be needed. This may include greater use of clinicians (nurses and doctors) to complete more in-depth clinical assessments on the telephone in order to avoid unnecessary referrals to GP surgeries, A+E and ambulance call outs.”

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Lisa Potter
NHS Direct Headquarters
0207 599 4223
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