The problem with NHS Direct is without very intense follow up telephone calls and research it is hard to monitor its effectiveness both from a cost perspective and effectiveness.
I used the service once when I still lived in England and I was given bad advice and different advice from the two telephone calls within an hour of each other.
No one ever called me back to ask my opinions or how I found the service - I ended up going to my GP so actually on that occasion it cost the NHS more because of the failure of the two staff to listen to what I was saying.
How is the service NHS Direct provides actually measured and assessed, if you visit their website it isn't easy to digest or find the information?
Apparently the NHS Direct service is actually to be replaced with a cheaper option, a 1-1-1 service which is currently being piloted in the North East of England.
I wonder on what basis Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has come to the decision to scrap NHS Direct?
Given that NHS Direct is currently tendering for Usability Experience Pre Qualification Questionnaire service providers with a closing date of 1st October, I wonder what Andrew Lansley will say to any of those companies that have spent money and taken time to prepare a tender, never an easy thing to write?
Will he be offering any compensation to those companies involved in the tendering process?
How will the transformation from NHS Direct to 1-1-1 take place, will all the staff keep their jobs or will they all be made redundant and then invited to apply for jobs in the new scheme?
Well let us await an announcement from the Health Secretary rather than jumping on a bandwagon as Andy Burnham MP has done, see here what he tells the BBC News website;
"The health secretary's statement will stun people across the NHS.Honestly, what a load of crap these Labour leadership candidates talk sometimes, let's wait and see first what Lansley has to say.
"It is yet more evidence that Andrew Lansley is on a vindictive mission to break up the NHS, ruthlessly dismantling services before alternatives are in place."
One thing that annoys me though is yet another major decision by a government Minister done through a visit or the media rather than through Parliament.
Labour were bad at this during their thirteen years of government, I sincerely hope that Nick Clegg holds the Conservative partners in the coalition to account on things like this.
Major decisions such as this should always come via Parliament.