Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Health Secretary welcomes the opening of the new NHS 24 call center in Dundee

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A new NHS 24 call center has opened in Dundee to help more patients with non-life threatening cases and ease the pressure on hospital departments.

Patients with relatively minor injuries and illnesses are being asked to call the NHS-24 service on 111 before going to hospital as part of the Scottish Government’s redesign of emergency care with difficulties in receiving emergency care.

The 24/7 helpline received around 182,000 calls in December, almost 50,000 of them on the Hogmanay weekend alone.

The latest expansion of the service will see about 140 employees including callers, nurses, psychotherapists and mental health nurses by the end of March.

Visiting the new center, Minister of Health Humza Yousaf said: “We are experiencing the hardest winter our health and social system has ever experienced.

“With the current systemic pressures and the ongoing impact of the pandemic, NHS 24’s role in providing support and advice to people who need it has never been more important.

“I am extremely grateful for the contribution that the NHS 24 staff have made during the pandemic and especially during these difficult winter months.

“I would urge everyone to take advantage of these services by calling 111 or by visiting NHS Inform if necessary. Well-trained staff will be happy to advise you and point you to the right place if you need treatment.

“This new call center facility in Dundee will allow NHS 24 to further expand its capacity – to help more people and better manage capacity across the rest of the healthcare system.

“To make this possible the Scottish Government has this year committed more than £20m of additional funding to NHS 24 for additional recruitment and this new facility. All of this builds on the work done as part of our £300m investment in health and care services as part of our winter preparations.”

Jim Miller, Chief Executive of NHS 24, added: “NHS 24 has played a crucial role in Scotland’s response to the pandemic and our expansion into Dundee will ensure we continue to provide the public with high quality, safe and secure service over the coming months can provide effective care and years ahead.

“Callers, nurses, psychotherapists and mental health nurses are already working in that key, the contact center that delivers care.

“I expect it will be at full capacity by the end of March.”

Joe FitzPatrick and Shona Robison, MSPs for Dundee West and East respectively, also welcomed the call centre’s opening.

Mr FitzPatrick said: “The efforts of all our NHS staff have been nothing short of heroic as the pandemic has unfolded.

“NHS 24 is experiencing unprecedented numbers and I am delighted that Dundee will be home to a new call center which will help ease the pressure on the rest of the NHS and social services.

“If you need health or care advice please call NHS 24 on 111 or visit nhsinform.scot where you can access information you can trust.”

Ms Robison added: “The Scottish Government is providing record funding to our NHS and continues to invest in Dundee, with these NHS 24 jobs in addition to hundreds of new jobs at Social Security Scotland’s Dundee Waterfront headquarters.”

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