29
Corkers
42
U-turns

NHS Direct

  • NHS Direct to be replaced by cut-price health advice service replace NHS Direct with a cut-price alternative – The Guardian, 27 Augu 2010
  • Andrew Lansley’s U-turn as NHS Direct is ‘saved’ – Metro, 8 Sep 2010

In August, the Department of Health announced plans to scrap the medical helpline NHS Direct and replace it with NHS 111, a cut-price service staffed by non-specialist ‘call advisers’.

The DoH said:

“When NHS 111 is rolled out nationally, it will replace NHS Direct… It is important that we deliver the best possible service for the public and, in the economic climate, deliver the best value for money.”

A month on, however, and the government has backed down over the plans, as Metro reports:

The apparent climbdown came after the Department of Health last month said the service would be scrapped.

But in a written reply to accusations by former health secretary Andy Burnham that he was ‘rowing back’ from previous statements, he said: “I have announced plans to phase out the NHS Direct number. I am aware that some people are claiming, incorrectly, that NHS Direct is to be shut down.”

Mr Burnham said: “This is a welcome climbdown and great news for the staff who work for NHS Direct and all of us who rely on it”

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