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One million people contacted NHS Direct over Christmas

4 January 2008

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NHS Direct has revealed that more than one million people contacted the service over Christmas.

A total of 1,122,874 people either called the service or visited its website over the festive period, which is a 61% increase on the same period in 2006, when the figure was just 699,553.

29 December was the busiest day for calls, with more than 30,000 people phoning for advice, which also made it the busiest day for calls during the whole year.

Boxing Day followed close behind, with 29,299 calls made to the service.

NHS Direct said the most common reasons for calling were toothache, vomiting and abdominal pain – which it said was as a result of the rise in the number of people contracting the “winter vomiting” bug norovirus.

Visits to the website also increased, and were more than double those made over Christmas during 2006, with 852,533 queries compared with 413,865.

The most visited areas on the site were those which gave information about flu, chickenpox and chest infections.

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