Stomach -ache, tooth -ache and coughs lead the nation's medical complaint calls received during the festive period. Of these, enquiries on ailments related to stomach like diarrhoea, food poisoning and indigestion formed the majority of help-calls made to NHS Direct this festive season. NHS Direct is a telephone and internet health counsel service and can be contacted on 0845 46 47.
NHS Direct receivedmore than 250,000 calls during the ten-day Christmas and New Year holiday. Statistics reads the total number of enquiries as 6.5m calls, which is 15 per cent lower than last year, but the number of visitors to NHS Direct website - www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk - showed one third increase, with 340,000 logins.
Chicken pox, information about walk-in centres, diarrhoea, food poisoning and indigestion were the most popular topics on the NHS Direct website over Christmas.
NHS Direct CPO, Dr Mike Sadler said: 'NHS Direct has answered nearly a quarter of a million phone calls over the past ten days. There have been even more visits to our website, and our digital TV service is now available in the majority of homes.
'By any measure, that's a lot of people helped: feedback from patients shows that they appreciate the service, which is available 24/7 every day of the year and is an essential part of the modern health economy.'