Lansley must answer questions in Parliament on NHS Direct axe

I’ve just joined thousands of people across the country in signing up to the petition organised by John Prescott to save NHS Direct.

The government’s decision to scrap this service is yet another example of a quick cut made without care for the consequences.

Yvette and I have used NHS Direct loads of times. It’s great for parents who need quick and reliable advice and reassurance around the clock. It can literally be a lifesaver.

And it’s short-sighted to think you can save money by replacing it with a cheap call centre that isn’t staffed by trained nurses and doctors. As the Royal College of Nursing has pointed out, the expert advice of nurses has kept one and a half million people out of A & E and saved the NHS £213 million pounds a year.

Just like the chaotic announcement on scrapping the free school milk scheme, it seems that the Health Secretary hasn’t properly thought this through. If he and his family have relied on NHS Direct in the past then he would know it’s now a vital part of our health service and not simply a call centre.

Andrew Lansley has some serious questions to answer and he must make a statement to the House of Commons as soon as MPs return to Westminster next week.

What will happen to the nurses who currently staff the NHS Direct service?

How much funding will the new service have compared to NHS Direct?

What estimates has he made of the savings NHS Direct makes?

What consultation has he undertaken with patients, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison and other stakeholders?

Has he assessed the impact on health inequalities, particularly the impact on poorer families, women, disabled children, the elderly, those living in isolated rural areas and people with a disability or long-term condition?

The Tories claimed the NHS would be safe in their hands. It’s now increasingly clear that it isn’t. We must fight to defend our NHS from what the Tory-Lib Dem government is doing to it.

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Posted August 29th, 2010 by Ed

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2 Responses to “Lansley must answer questions in Parliament on NHS Direct axe”

  1. Andy says:

    The Speaker for the House of Commons knows you cant make announcement intill you in parliament but the Coalition Government is getting away with it.
    *There was no public consultant.
    *No evidence that the system is work or not.

  2. Isla McGowran says:

    I recently ecperienced a personal crisis time so I rang my doctor’s surgery knowing they would be shut at 4.00 am not being able to sleep and was given the number I needed to ring NHS Direct and within 5 minutes a qualified doctor was ringing me and helped me through that awful time. I would not like to think about what may have happened if that facility was withdrawn. THIS PRESENT GOVERNMENT IS KILLING THE BEST OF BRITISH FOR ALL IN MY OPINION.

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