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NHS Direct to extend its role

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NHS Direct is to roll out a nurse-led service for people with long-term conditions, after joining forces with two independent companies.

It plans to start recruiting 50 extra nurses next month to expand the Birmingham Own Health scheme, a telephone helpline for patients with long-term conditions, which is operated by nurses who manage their own caseloads.

NHS Direct set up the line in 2006 with the help of Pfizer Health Solutions. Together with Humana, a company that provides guidance to PCTs on commissioning, they will extend the scheme to other trusts.

An NHS Direct spokesperson said: ‘Patients who are involved have a good lifestyle – they are well looked after. The nurses
will be employed by the NHS in the way that all of the other nurses are.’

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