NHS Direct launches online symptom checker for colds and flu

NHS Direct has installed a symptom checker on its website allowing patients to discover whether they have a cold or flu.

NHS Direct
NHS Direct

Between September and December NHS Direct had a 206% increase in calls related to colds, flu, cough and fever.

The tool at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk uses the protocols deployed by NHS Direct's call centre nurses to assess patient symptoms over the telephone.

Anna Joshua, associate director of pharmacy at NHS Direct, said: ‘The tool helps with self-care and also helps to decide when professional advice is needed or if the condition is serious enough to seek urgent medical help.

‘The website advice will set out the options for self care - whether a visit to a pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist is needed, or whether it is best to contact a GP and if necessary it might prompt you to go to A&E.'

The system may also offer a call back from NHS Direct with the facility to arrange a specific call back from a nurse advisor.

This will be the first of many symptom checkers to be introduced by NHS Direct over the coming months.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP careers: My life working as a remote GP

GP careers: My life working as a remote GP

Dr Patrice Baptiste explains a typical day in her role as a remote GP and the advantages...

Average GP practice could face £15,000 hit from national insurance hike

Average GP practice could face £15,000 hit from national insurance hike

An average GP practice could face a financial hit of around £15,000 from the national...

Practices could follow suit as hospitals relax infection control over care backlog

Practices could follow suit as hospitals relax infection control over care backlog

Health secretary Sajid Javid has backed a significant relaxation of infection control...

BMA demands priority access for key workers as fuel shortage threatens NHS care

BMA demands priority access for key workers as fuel shortage threatens NHS care

Healthcare workers must be offered priority access to fuel to guarantee that vital...

GPs unable to get to work as petrol shortages hit NHS workforce

GPs unable to get to work as petrol shortages hit NHS workforce

GPs have warned that practice staff are struggling to get to work and are being forced...

Javid must offer 'clear public backing for GPs', warns BMA

Javid must offer 'clear public backing for GPs', warns BMA

The BMA has demanded 'clear public backing' for general practice from the government...