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20 June 2005

STEVENSON QUESTIONS HEALTH MINISTER ON NHS 24

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson questioned Minister for Health Andy Kerr on NHS 24 service delivery at the Scottish Parliament’s Question Time.

Mr Stevenson asked the Minister whether he had any plans to create local call centres for NHS 24. The move follows criticism in the media of standards of service delivered by NHS 24.

Commenting afterwards, Mr Stevenson said:

“Local delivery of health services will always be better than remote delivery because local delivery draws on local knowledge.

“NHS 24 is a useful resource for people but should not be viewed as a replacement for dialling 999 in cases of emergency.

“Plans are underway in the NHS in England and Wales to computerise health records which will mean that healthcare professionals faced with a patient or casualty who is not known to them can access their medical history in making their assessment of what treatment is required.

“Currently, NHS 24 is handicapped by not being able to access their callers’ medical records. While we wait for computerisation of medical records in Scotland, local NHS 24 ‘mini-centres’ can make a positive impact on service delivery and I am pleased that the Minister recognised that in his response to me.”
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