NHS Direct, which provided a national helpline to patients (and employment to many work-injured nurses) is to close in April with the loss of 700 jobs. It has been forced to withdraw from the regional tenders it won to provide 111 services because it found these were not financially viable. According to the Royal College of Nursing, patients will now have a fragmented, localised service that offers uncertainty and inconsistency in many parts of the country.
“We made three mistakes that I regret, the first being restructuring the NHS. The rest are minor.”— unnamed Senior Conservative Cabinet Minister