Saturday, August 28, 2010

Save NHS Direct

This BBC report confirms earlier rumours that the CONDEMS are planning to scrap NHS Direct and replace it with a privately run call centre staffed by unqualified operatives. 

So much for the Tory pledge to safeguard the NHS?  NHS Direct is a success and actually saves money by stopping people going to see the GP's or A&E unnecessarily.  They also conversely -save lives since many people (especially men) will not go and seek medical advice in person but will ring up NHS Direct and will then accept their advice that they should see their GP.

This only works because people trust the service and know that they are speaking to properly trained and qualified NHS staff

Most privately run medical call centres have a terrible reputation.  People do not trust the confidentiality of these centres and the quality of the advice. 

This is from the UNISON press release: -


The Guardian states that Conservative Secretary of State for Health has let slip that the Coalition is to scrap NHS Direct for a cheaper service.

The proposal is to replace 3,000 dedicated specialist nurses and health professionals with a cheap private call centre, with no access to a nurse.

Private call centres with unqualified staff can never replace this excellent service, which provides vital immediate support such as during the swine flu outbreak which saw scores of people die.

NHS Direct UNISON Official Michael Walker states:

"Not one Coalition party stated they would scrap NHS Direct in their manifesto. There is no mandate for cutting this service . If the government attack NHS Direct, what else is next? What other NHS cuts are they hiding? It is time for Cameron and Clegg to come clean about their real plans for our NHS."

Join UNISON's campaign to Save NHS Direct.


Anonymous said...

only the Lib Dems health minister Burstow could claimsacking 1,000 nhs direct nurses would lead to a better service

Anonymous said...

I don't know probably a lot more since they are all in BUPA anyway.