A new survey has found that 40% callers to NHS Direct are
being advised on how to treat themselves at home.
Overall 4,554 patients were surveyed among whom 11 per
cent were referred to A&E, 28 per cent to a GP, 5 per cent to walk-in
centres, 4 per cent to a dentist and 3 per cent to a pharmacist. NHS Direct
revealed that these findings prove it was being cost-effective as it was taking
the pressure off GP surgeries.
"NHS Direct is a valuable service that patients
appreciate. It is good to see it is now achieving more of what it set out to do
- relieving pressure on GP surgeries and A&E," said Dr Michael Dixon,
NHS Alliance chairman. "However it needs to work more closely with general
practice to ensure the best possible advice is given to individual patients and
continuity of care maintained."
NHS Direct chief executive, Matt Tee agreed with the
same, "Our patient satisfaction ratings are very high compared to almost
any health, call-centre or online service," he added.
Some 93 percent of
the respondents said the referral service was satisfactory, while 95 percent
said they were satisfied with the advice given by NHS Direct.