British Lung Foundation
33,845 members41,284 posts

Has any one used NHS direct lately?

I rang NHS direct yesterday as my husband has been very sleepy. They were very helpful I was rang back by a nurse and later a doctor. He said that the earliest he would be round was 3.30am so I decided to wait until the morning to ring them again as he suggested.

Again the person who answered the phone was very helpful and doctor came round about 12.30. He did some tests on my husband but could not find anything wrong with him. He said his blood pressure was low and his 'sats' were 91%. (My husband has COPD and is on oxygen 24/7).

He said to ring in the morning if he was the same. He probably needs a blood test but will have to go hospital for that..

My husband is dozing now but needless to say when the doctor came he was awake and alert. He seems to have bad dreams when he nods off and wakes up confused.

Even though the doctor was not sure what the problem was all the staff do not seem to mind what time you ring and whether it is weekend or not.

Will have to see what tomorrow brings!.


4 Replies

i have used them a few times and can not fault them. they are brilliant, the one time i rang she said to me i am called an ambulance and stayed talking to me when they was on the way . other times like you they have called

me back but always had good things to say about them.


I'm sorry Jean, but I've not used it recently. However I did use it a number of years ago when my husband was extremely poorly, and I found the service excellent. I couldn't fault it. And you're so right, they are not bothered one iota about calling in the middle of the night. Not only did they provide assistance, they also coordinated follow up visits by our own GP and Community Nurses.


The only problem I've had with NHS Direct has been their 0845 number, I barred 08 numbers on the house and mobile phones due to the excessive cost - we are on cable phone, not BT, and it's 11 point something connection charge then 10 point something a minute. On the mobile it's 35-40p a minute.

Such a pity they have farmed out some of the new NHS 111 service to other providers, when they already had the NHS Direct people in place.


We've got 111 for out of hours, and I find they have to follow a script come what may. My husband gets very sudden onset chest infections, I just want a Dr visit to make sure I can keep him at home. They insist on going thorugh a script including 'is he bleeding heavily', has he got a rash, can he put his head on his chest - I tell them he hasn't got meningitis, I need a Dr for his chest condition - they insist on going through the whole thing, then say someone will call back in the next 2 hours. When they call, it is to get a list of all his medications - then the Dr will be with you within the next 2 hours. it is very frustrating ! At our last GP visit we decided not to bother calling out of hours again, just swing into action with antibiotics, higher oxygen, increased steroids etc. and let the surgery know when they are open again. I suppose I only call them for reassurance, I suppose I know what to do - but it is quite frightening when it happens.


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