NHS Direct to be replaced by new 111 hotline
The health information service NHS Direct is to be replaced by a non-emergency telephone number which will organise the care needed by callers.
A 24/7 service, which the Government hopes will abolish the concept of 'out-of-hours' in the NHS, the 111 line will plan the help required by callers - from an appointment with a GP, to an ambulance in an emergency. The line will be staffed by call advisers supported by nurses.
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Thousands of letters will now have been received by people who are too unwell to work, advising that it is possible that their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) may be stopped in April next year. The letters have been sent because of changes that may be made as a result of the current debate in Parliament concerning the Welfare Reform Bill. If a disabled person is assessed as being able to work, the benefit will continue for 12 months only during which time they will have to find work. (ESA is a benefit which is only given to people who have in the past contributed by paying National Insurance Contributions as a result of being a working person.)
Last year the Government scrapped the 48 hour targets for GP appointments in England. Aviva Insurance Co. have recently published a survey which shows how long patients have to wait for a GP appointment. The survey showed that 39% of people in Wales had to wait more than a week last year for an appointment and 35% of people had the same wait in Scotland.
The highest proportion of patients seeing a GP within 48 hours of making contact with a surgery in the last year was in the East Midlands at 37%, followed by the West Midlands at 35% and the South West at 34%. Scotland had the lowest proportion seeing a GP within 48 hours at 22%.
The survey, which was conducted online also showed four-fifths of people questioned were happy with the quality of the treatment or advice they eventually received.
One Carer was interviewed in Warwickshire.
Our in-house Risk Assessor attended a Road Safety Seminar and Part 1 of a Supervision Course.
Last week a presentation was made to a Norfolk Townswomens Guild on "Care in the Community 1601-2011".
Christmas and New Year bookings are already in progress. Carers, please advise your Care Manager as early as possible of your availability over these two periods.
Independent Age, 6 Avonmore Road, London. W14 8RL
Telephone 020 7605 4200
Fax 020 7605 4201
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Question of the Week
"A friend recently told me that her husband had badly hurt his leg, went to his local A&E where they bandaged his leg and said he would need to use crutches for a couple of weeks. He was then asked to pay a deposit of �15.00 for them. Is this a new cost that has been brought in?"
Answer : On a national basis, no, but there are hospitals who have now resorted to charging for crutches, sticks and other walking aids because so many people do not return them after their need for them has finished. Some hospitals have been holding an amnesty to encourage ex patients to return such items which are then cleaned and can be re-issued.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.