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Improving Information Access for Our Patients

Access to information about emergency care for children and young people in North Manchester has been improved thanks to a new partnership between Booth Hall Children's Hospital and NHS Direct. Last year an area of the Accident & Emergency Department at the hospital was redesigned to provide information to the public on choices in healthcare, which meant that over 25,000 families and carers using the department each year would be more aware of the range of services available to them. Booth Hall Children’s hospital is leading the way to provide such an area dedicated to providing the public with information on choices available to them in times of illness or injury. This work has now progressed to incorporate a government directive to ensure that parents, families and carers can also access this information over the telephone. From 1st April the hospital's Accident & Emergency telephone advice line, will be replaced by the NHS Direct service. Callers who have previously used this service should now call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. This means that callers will still have access to advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but can also be given information on pharmacies, walk-in centres and even self care as well as advice about the appropriate use of casualty departments and when to call an emergency ambulance. Phil Taylor, Directorate Manager for the Accident & Emergency Department said: "All the staff here are very pleased about this step forward. It means that anyone looking after a child or young person who may be feeling unwell will have access to a whole range of information about the type of care that is available to them, and will be well informed about the choices they make." • NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 4647. • Help and advice is also available in the NHS Direct self-help guide in Thomson Local directories • On the NHS Direct Online website www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk • Via the new NHS Direct Interactive on Sky TV by pressing the INTERACTIVE button on the remote control. This will be available on cable TV and Freeview later in 2005