§ Ms Stuart
In October 1999, NHS Direct handled 109,000 calls. I expect that by the end of this year, NHS Direct will have helped around 1 million callers since the service began. From December this year, NHS Direct has been extended to cover over 65 per cent. of the population of England. The scope of the service has also been extended by the publication in December of the NHS Direct Healthcare Guide and the launch of NHS Direct on-line. This means that a greater proportion of the population will have access to high quality health care information and advice.