GPs, managers and nurses are being invited to give their views on how phone advice service NHS Direct is performing in a bid to enhance the organisation’s profile and effectiveness.
The initiative is an attempt to counter perceptions of the service as being marginal to local boards’ overall care strategies which were revealed in September’s report on emergency care by the Healthcare Commission.
NHS Direct is determined to boost its standing within the health service after it was shown that a third of Primary Care Trusts devise their emergency strategies without involving NHS Direct in the process.
To address this marginalisation, the body is holding a series of workshops across England which will offer a forum for health and social care professionals to examine sample responses to emergency calls from patients and discuss areas for improvement.
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“NHS Direct is rubbish. Long waits; no triage. GP offices are being hoodwinked into suggetsing NHS Direct without
considering the people they send.” – John Smith, UK
“If you want to influence NHS Direct then I would hope plenty of people would attend the workshops – rather than just complain on the sidelines!” – Ann Grain, London