Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS Direct audited

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 09 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:558

Customer satisfaction, but at what price?

  1. Steve George (, reader in public health
  1. University of Southampton Health Care Research Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD

    NHS Direct—“the gateway to the NHS.” An all singing, all dancing mega-service that will give you health advice and information when you ask for it; make sure that you receive the urgent care you need but did not realise you did; stop you demanding care you did not need by encouraging you to undertake self care, or by diverting you to a more appropriate source of care if you cannot manage by yourself; find you a dentist or a pharmacy open outside shop hours; and will soon be able to book you your appointment with your general practitioner, remind you of your hospital appointment, and… the list goes on. NHS Direct, the telephone health advice and information line is nearly four years old.1 How is it performing?

    Three NHS Direct pilot sites were launched in March 1998 and the service now covers all of England. …

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