Call centre staff to book appointments
There will now be a new non-emergency medical number and NHS Direct is what anyone who wants an appointment will contact by dialing 111.
GP receptionist will not attend to calls from patients to book appointments as bookings will be made by call centre staff.
EsyDoc, in Surrey is a consortium of about 20 practices and the trial of the scheme is being launched by EsyDoc. Apart from this across England, eight consortia are being talked to by NHS Direct.
It seems that Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, is backing the plan.
According to doctors, this is a good step as it will be a lot easier to book appointments but for some patients' group it might be frustrating to a great extent to get in talks with staff at the call centre.
Receptionists feel that they were the ones who came in close ties with patients and doctors also but now that call centre staff will deal with patients' calls that close rapport will no longer exist and staff at the call centre will also not be as experienced as these receptionists. It is also believed that if the idea is followed across the nation then thousands of receptionists could lose their jobs.
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