UNISON condemns NHS Direct closure as a waste of jobs and money October 24th, 2013 admin Latest News Shares Comments UNISON condemns NHS Direct closure as a waste of jobs and money £20 million of taxpayers’ money and 700 high quality nurses and health advisors will be lost as a result of the decision to close NHS Direct in England, said UNISON, the UK’s largest union. However the total cost is likely to be substantially higher, once the cost of commissioning and contracting regional replacement services from private companies is made clear. Michael Walker, UNISON Officer for NHS Direct, said: “It’s a disgrace that so much public money is being wasted to sacrifice 700 good quality nurses and health advisors, only to replace them with an inferior privatised service. “By axing the clinical assessment and expertise element that NHS Direct provides, worried parents and patients will end up in an inferior signposting service. This will add to the pressures that are already being placed on overstretched A&E units, ambulance services and GPs.” “Lessons do not seemed to have been learned following the highly expensive and time-consuming switch to 111 in April. The 111 service was never a real replacement for NHS direct and the government needs to come clean on this. The switch to 111 caused fragmentation, disorganisation and uncertainty for thousands of staff, with a knock on effect to patient care, and this is now going to happen all over again.” When the 42 NHS 111 contracts were put out to tender last year a significant number went to private companies, causing problems and disruption across the country for patients, doctors and ambulance services. A major problem with disaster prone 111 service has been the fact that it is not a national service, with delivery fragmented across 44 local services resulting in an uneven service and great inconsistencies. For example, each London borough has its own contract. Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07930717137 Email [email protected] Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news Facebook www.facebook.com/otsnews.co.uk Related Comments comments!