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NHS Direct waiting times to see patients seek private medical cover as alternative?

Published on 24/12/2010
More people may be tempted to seek private medical cover in order to avoid the long waiting times currently being experienced by users of NHS Direct.

According to the Daily Mail, the service is near breaking point as it struggles to deal with a high volume of calls due to a large number of flu cases this year.

This includes outbreaks of swine flu, which has so far claimed 14 lives this winter.

Because of this, patients calling the service are being forced to wait up to two days before they can speak to a nurse, and managers have launched an emergency recruitment drive.

One senior nurse told the news provider: "This is by far the worst it has ever been. People have not been receiving call backs for 48 hours - it's appalling.

"I am concerned about the way the public are being treated. They are not getting the support they need. When they call us about themselves or a relative, they want to speak to someone quickly, not two days later."

Several health insurance providers offer access to health hotlines that may be an attractive alternative to the NHS service for those looking for quicker responses.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

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