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NHS 24, Scotland’s national advice and triage service which includes NHS Inform and the 111 service, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.
To mark the occasion, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened up an additional contact centre in Hillington, Glasgow, which will help to deal with some of the demand for the service.
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘NHS 24 has been a critical part of our NHS in Scotland for many years and it is fantastic to see the way the service continues to develop and adapt to the changing needs of the population.
‘From the expanded 111 service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to a key role in responding to the outbreak of Covid and now dedicated mental health support through the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub and Breathing Space, it has become an indispensable part of our health service.
‘The committed and professional staff providing these services work tirelessly day in and day out to make sure that the public always have access to the right information and support as quickly and as easily as possible.
‘It is a pleasure to open the new Hillington centre and to be given the opportunity to put on record my thanks to everyone who has played a part in NHS 24’s journey over the past 20 years.’
NHS 24 now provides a range of services in addition to the core telephone triage which was changed to 111 in 2014.
NHS 24’s chief executive, Jim Miller, said: ‘As we slowly emerge from the Covid pandemic, NHS 24 is taking the opportunity to look at its services, technology and workforce to ensure we continue to meet the needs of people across Scotland.
‘The progress we have made in the past two decades is really impressive and we are determined to continue to work collaboratively with colleagues from NHS Ayrshire and Arran and across the health and social care system to make sure people get the right care in the right place.’
NHS 24 is one of Scotland’s seven special health boards, it runs an online and telephone advice and triage service and a number of mental health services.
Since its inception in May 8, 2002, the service has received in excess of 27 million calls.