NHS Direct

I will start putting information here regarding the key aspects of my area of study – NHS Direct.   These will include subo topics such as:

  • Purpose, function, form
  • History of NHS Direct
  • Relationship with other organisations
  • Innovatory practises

Purpose, Function, Form

NHS Direct operates in England, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Accoridng to its promotional lietarature it is more than ‘just a telephone helath line’.   The services it offers include:

  • out of hours support for GPs and dental services,
  • telephone support for patients with long-term conditions,
  • pre and post operative support for patients,
  • 24 hour response to health scares, and
  • remote clinics via telephone.

It also offers commissioned services.  These are as follows:

  • Urgent Care – NHS Direct offers many services that support the NHS’s overall urgent care services, such as out of hours GP triage, helplines and health alerts, and dental care services
  • Appointments Line –  Managed by NHS Direct, The Appointments Line books appointments for patients, gives them information about the hospital or clinics on the patient’s list, and tells patients what dates and times are free for an appointment
  • Support for acute care – Our acute care services include a telephone reminder service for appointments and operations, and support for patients following operations and procedures
  • Long term conditions – NHS Direct’s services cover a wide range of longer term health initiatives
Examples of how PCTs and other health organisations have taken advantage of our commissioned services

NHS Direct offers online e-reporting to users from primary care trusts and strategic health authority – the reports show activity of the telephone service and clinical streaming in a particular part of the country.  This tool allows the PCT access to the latest performance data for the NHS Direct telephone service in the  PCT area – includes clinical information and service usage over the past year

History of NHS Direct

NHS Direct Timeline


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