Journal Article

NHS Direct: review of activity data for the first year of operation at one site

Fiona Payne and Lynda Jessopp

in Journal of Public Health

Published on behalf of Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom

Volume 23, issue 2, pages 155-158
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 1741-3842
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1741-3850 | DOI:
NHS Direct: review of activity data for the first year of operation at one site

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Background NHS Direct was set up in 1998 and now covers all of England. One site in South East London, which went live in April 1999, has been studied to gain an insight into how NHS Direct is used and by whom.

Methods Routine data from TAS was obtained from NHS Direct in South East London for its first year of operation.

Results Data were collected on 56 540 calls. Almost one‐quarter of calls were for 0‐ to 5‐year‐olds. The service was busiest between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and again between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The majority of calls (68 per cent) were received during the out‐of‐hours period. Most calls to the service (56 per cent) are categorized with no urgency level, with 37 per cent of callers given advice on how to look after the problem themselves. Over the millennium celebration period the call volume tripled. However, calls tended to be less urgent, with more being from the older age groups.

Conclusion NHS Direct is an important service to parents of young children and can provide advice about when contact with another service is necessary to those who traditionally worry about this.

Keywords: NHS Direct; evaluation; out‐; of‐; hours

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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