Cuts Watch #220: NHS Direct
Last night’s rumours that NHS Direct is to be abolished have been confirmed by the government. The service is to be replaced within 3 years by a national phone service (using the non emergency 1-1-1 number) based on the pilot project in the North East. Two-fifths of NHS Direct staff are trained nurses but the 111 line will be staffed by “call advisers” who have only had to take a 60-hour course. In response, John Prescott has set up a “Save NHS Direct” campaign.