§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many callers to NHS Direct in November 1999, December 1999, January 2000 and February 2000 were advised(a) to visit an accident and emergency unit, (b) to contact a general practitioner and (c) to call on the emergency services. 
§ Ms Stuart
[holding answer 2 March 2000]Between November and January, on average 36 per cent. of callers were directed to self-care. During this period, NHS Direct helped to take pressure from other busy NHS services, and directed people to the most appropriate level of care.
The table shows the number of callers from NHS Direct who were advised (i) to visit and accident and emergency unit, (ii) to contact a general practitioner, (iii) to call on the emergency services during November, December and January. The information for February is not available.
CMS member Name of company Nature of interest Professor J. Chipman SmithKline Beecham Non-personal—research grants Professor J. Darbyshire SmithKline Beecham Non-personal—support for clinical trials Professor H. Dargie SmithKline Beecham Personalconsultancy and non-personal—clinical trial Dr. M. Donaghy SmithKline Beecham Personal—shareholder Dr. B. Evans SmithKline Beecham Personal—fees and shares Professor E. Gordon-Smith Pasteur-Merieux Non-personal—research grants Professor M. Langman Merck Sharpe and Dohme Non-personal—support/research collaborations Dr. A. MacGowan SmithKline Beecham Personal—consultancy and non-personal—fellowship Professor B. Park SmithKline Beecham Non-personal—lectureship Professor J. F. Smyth SmithKline Beecham Personal—occasional meetings and non-personal—clinical trials support Professor I. Weller SmithKline Beecham Non-personal—trials and study Professor K. Woodhouse SmithKline Beecham Non-personal—clinical research trials Merck Sharpe and Dohme Non-personal—clinical research trials
Month Total callers 999 emergency services Accident and emergency General practitioner November 120,000 2,200 8,500 35,000 December1 213,000 4,600 13,400 72,800 January 262,000 4,500 15,000 85,000 1 December data do not include information from South West London or East Midlands