Minister must provide direction for NHS Direct Wales

September 14, 2009 2:53 PM

Commenting on the release of the Wales Audit Office report on NHS Direct Wales, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister, Peter Black said: "I have had concerns for some time at the way that NHS Direct Wales appears to operate independently of the rest of the health service and this report reinforces my views. Although the call centres are considered to provide valuable services the fact that NHS Direct is viewed as something separate, rather than as a core part of the unscheduled care system and that its contribution is poorly understood across the NHS, is worrying. "The recommendation that NHS Direct Wales should share information both locally and nationally so as to provide a better understanding of the demand for unscheduled care and so as to support the planning and funding of services is crucial. There has to be better co-ordination between this organisation and GPs and Primary Care Centres in particular if we are going to get value for money and avoid duplication. "There now needs to be clear strategic leadership from the Minister so as to take forward these recommendations and deliver a better, more coordinated service in the future."

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