Burnham demands answers about NHS Direct future

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has called on the coalition government for clarification about the future of NHS Direct.

Mr Burnham: urgent need to clarify the future of NHS Direct
Mr Burnham: urgent need to clarify the future of NHS Direct

In an open letter to health secretary Andrew Lansley, Mr Burnham denies the coalition government’s claims that it is simply implementing Labour plans to axe NHS Direct.

Mr Burnham writes: ‘I am therefore requesting that you make an urgent statement to parliament to clarify the future of NHS Direct, including:

  • Will you be consulting on the future of NHS Direct?
  • What is the status of the 3,400 staff who work for NHS Direct and do they face redundancy?
  • If the pilots of 111 are not successful, will the decision to scrap NHS Direct be reversed?
  • How much will the new 111 service cost to roll-out nationally, and how much will it save the NHS?
  • What will be the make-up of clinical staff to non-clinical staff in the new 111 service?
  • Will the NHS Direct website also be scrapped?’

Mr Burnham criticises the lack of consultation before Mr Lansley revealed NHS Direct’s fate, claims NHS Direct has ‘saved the NHS £213m' and complains there is no evidence to support national 111 rollout.

Editor’s blog: NHS Direct: goodbye or good riddance?

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in