NHS Direct to close in 2014
- 25 Oct
England will see the end of NHS Direct next year.
The organisation is believed to have gotten into financial troubles after winning a number of the contracts for the 111 telephone line. Whilst it had already said that it was pulling out of those, a new decision mean that its other services will also be closed or transferred to other NHS bodies, reports the BBC.
The NHS Direct service began fifteen years ago and ran the national telephone advice line from the late 1990s until April this year when it began its 111 service. The 111 service was split into 46 different contracts and the NHS Direct won 11 of them.
They already announced over the summer that they wanted to end these deals as they were "unsustainable" and replacement providers have already been found.
There are other services that the NHS Direct run, such as an information website, GP appointments booking phone line and a complaints service. Most of these services are expected to be transferred to other parts of the health service or put out to tender.
On the old 0845 number the NHS Direct used to be paid more than £20 per call, however the new number found payment found it was receiving £7-£9 a call, and call volumes were lower than expected.
It will cease to exist at the end of the financial year, however the NHS Direct group is Wales is unaffected.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/935020
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