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

Just published

GP consultation

GP practices delivering 150,000 extra appointments per day compared with 2019

GP practices in England delivered 150,000 more appointments per working day in the...

Surgeon looking at a monitor in an operating theatre

NICE recommends non-invasive surgical procedure to target obesity

NICE has said that a non-invasive weight loss procedure should be used by the NHS...

GP trainee

Two training posts deliver one full-time GP on average, report warns

Two training posts are needed on average to deliver a single fully-qualified, full-time...

Dr Fiona Day

How to flourish as a GP by learning from the good and the difficult

Leadership and career coach Dr Fiona Day explains how GPs can grow and develop from...

Unhappy older woman sitting at home alone

Low mood – red flag symptoms

Low mood is a common presentation in primary care and can be a sign of a mental health...


PCN to take on GMS practice contract in landmark move for general practice

A GP practice in Hertfordshire could become the first to be run directly by a PCN...