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.
Advertisement"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.