Phone bills: costs and calls

A total of£54m has been set aside for NHS Direct for the financial year starting April 1999.

The volume of calls is lower than originally planned for, although they are gradually increasing. In the first eight months:

Lancashire received a total of 19,268 calls (78 per thousand population);

Milton Keynes 18,331 calls (148 per thousand population);

Northumbria 11,620 calls (23 per thousand population).

Between October and December 94 per cent of all callers got through first time. A total of 40 per cent of calls are about children.