NHS: Telephone Services

Health written question – answered on 19th January 2009.

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Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Conservative, Beverley and Holderness

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS Direct uses 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The NHS Direct telephone advice service currently operates on 0845 4647. As set out in the NHS Next Stage Review final report, published 30 June 2008, officials are currently considering options for the introduction of a new three digit telephone number to help people find the right local service to meet their urgent, unplanned care needs. Any subsequent decision to introduce such a number, including tariff options, would be subject to public consultation, undertaken by Ofcom under the Communications Act 2003. NHS Direct will retain its current 084 number until we are clear about any future role and function it may have in implementing a national three digit number for urgent care.

Additionally, NHS Direct is commissioned to provide local services on behalf of primary care trusts and other organisations. NHS Direct provides telephone numbers with prefixes including:




02; and


In accordance with Centre of Information guidance, NHS Direct does not directly or indirectly receive revenue for the use of any 0845 numbers.

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