GPs are cheaper than NHS Direct

NHS Direct is not providing value for money or easing pressure on GPs, the GPC says.

Figures released in parliament by health minister Ben Bradshaw show that the helpline's cost per call was more than £25.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'There is still too little evidence that NHS Direct relieves pressure on GP or hospital services.'

He said that the BMA estimates the cost of a GP visit at between £20 and £25.

But NHS Direct commercial director Ronnette Lucraft said the figures were 'crude' and did not take other calls NHS Direct handles into account, such as Choose and Book appointments and out-of-hours triage.

The real cost to the taxpayer was more like £16 per call, or £2.50 per person per year, said Ms Lucraft.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GMC sign

Overseas-graduate GPs fare worse in medical tribunals due to lack of legal help

UK GPs who graduated overseas face worse outcomes in GMC cases because they are far...

Woman using HRT patch

Practical advice for GPs on prescribing HRT

GP menopause specialists Dr Louise Newson and Dr Olivia Jones provides an overview...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

NHS logo on tiled wall

PCNs falling short on 26,000 staff target and need more flexibility, GPs warn

Government plans to bring in 26,000 staff by 2024 to support general practice are...

Talking General Practice logo with picture of Dr Ed Cantelo and Dr Tommy Perkins

Podcast: How two GPs set up a business to advise doctors about finance

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Tommy Perkins and Dr Ed Cantelo from Medics...

Houses of Parliament

MPs from all parties call on government to do more on GP shortage

MPs from all parties have warned the government that it needs to do more to tackle...