NHS Direct to close from 2014

NHS Direct to close from 2014


It has been announced that NHS Direct will be closed down in England as of 2014.

Following financial difficulty after winning a number of the contracts for the 111 phone line, NHS Direct have stated they will be pulling out of these contracts, meaning its other services will be closed or transferred to other NHS bodies.

The NHS Trust began 15 years ago and ran the national telephone advice line from the late 1990s until April this year, when the 111 service was launched. The 111 service was split into 46 different contracts and NHS Direct won 11 of them.

NHS Direct also runs a number of other services, including an information website, GP appointments booking phone line and complaints service. Many of these are expected to be transferred to other parts of the health service or put out to tender.

Projections reported earlier this year showed NHS Direct had lost £2.8 million from April to June and was heading for a deficit of £26 million if it continued until March. As a result, it will cease from the next financial year.

NHS Direct chair Joanne Shaw said the organisation should be proud of the innovation it had championed as it had helped pioneer "remote assessment, advice and information".

Original Source BBC News

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