NHS Direct is a part of National Health Service (NHS) that offers support to patients over the phone. It is a telephone advice service which has decided to cut hundreds of jobs as part of a restructuring programme.
The organisation said that discussions were still going on about the issue. But unions fear that as many as 1,000 jobs would be lost at NHS Direct. This was set up eight years ago as a new approach to take some of the load off GPs and accident and emergency departments. NHS Direct said that it would try to keep the losses to a minimum in the reorganization to satisfy growing demand for services over the internet rather than over the telephone.
A spokeswoman said that though NHS Direct had its criticisms, but it has been a good point of contact for the health service. Ann Grain, spokeswoman for NHS Direct, said that the organisation has provided its staff with a paper outlining the changes and how they would be made. She also said that the downsizing would be keep to a minimum. She said that this was done to make the organisation fit for its purpose.