Almost 1,500 jobs are at risk because of the replacement of NHS Direct, the nursing union has said.
The Royal College of Nursing said NHS Direct would close 24 of its 30 call centres and it had emerged in a consultation that up to 1,482 “wholetime equivalent” staff could lose their jobs.
Instead the public will be expected to ring the new 111 non-urgent phoneline, which will largely be provided by private firms.
Dr Peter Carter, the RCN chief executive, said: “For a long time we have been warning the government that plans to replace NHS Direct with the 111 service will see a loss of expertise and lead to more people having to go to hospital for medical advice.
“These plans amount to abolishing a nurse-led self-care and advice service for cost-cutting reasons, but this will prove to be a false economy when it increases the pressure on ambulance services, A&E wards and GP surgeries.”
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from