LETTER: Health line

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The Independent Online
From Ms Joy Ellery

Sir: Your recent article about Medisearch (4 April), the company providing health information at a cost of £14.99, failed to mention the availability of the free NHS Health Information Service.

This confidential, national service is open from at least 10.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, and calls are routed through to the correct area so that relevant local information can be given. Calls are answered by skilled, fully trained staff who have access to a wide range of information sources. They can help you not only with information about illnesses and treatments but also about NHS services, waiting times for treatments, maintaining and improving your health, making complaints about NHS services and understanding the Patient's Charter. Staff may be able to give an immediate reply, or call back later after researching the query, put information in the post or direct the inquirer to a more appropriate source of information.

Members of the public and health professionals can use this service by calling the Freephone number 0800 66 55 44.

Yours sincerely,


Information Manager


South Thames (West)

Health Information Service