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Emerg Med J. 2001 Jul; 18(4): 300–301.
PMCID: PMC1725624

The effect of the introduction of NHS Direct on requests for telephone advice from an accident and emergency department


Methods—Review of departmental telephone advice logbook before and after the introduction of NHS Direct together with recording of the number of calls redirected to NHS Direct by the hospital switchboard and the A&E department.

Results—The number of advice calls responded to within the department fell by 72.6% (84 in October 1998, 23 in October 1999). The number of calls redirected to NHS Direct was 242. The total number of calls to the hospital seeking advice thus increased by 315%.

Conclusion—The introduction of NHS Direct has allowed for a mechanism to be put in place reducing the number of calls for advice being dealt with by the A&E department clinical staff with a concomitant time saving. At the same time the number of calls for advice made by the public to the hospital has dramatically increased.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fatovich DM, Jacobs IG, McCance JP, Sidney KL, White RJ. Emergency department telephone advice. Med J Aust. 1998 Aug 3;169(3):143–146. [PubMed]
  • Crouch R, Dale J, Visavadia B, Higton C. Provision of telephone advice from accident and emergency departments: a national survey. J Accid Emerg Med. 1999 Mar;16(2):112–113. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Munro J, Nicholl J, O'Cathain A, Knowles E. Impact of NHS direct on demand for immediate care: observational study. BMJ. 2000 Jul 15;321(7254):150–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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