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NHS Direct use jumps over Christmas

New data shows that more than one million people used the NHS Direct service over the Christmas period.

The figures reveal that calls to the service and visits to the organisation's website totalled more than 1,120,000, which is a jump of 61% on last year, when the figure was only 699,553.

The busiest day during the holiday season was December 29 when 30,096 calls were made, which also made it the service's busiest day of the whole year.

Boxing Day followed close behind, with 29,299 calls, according to the service.

The most common reasons people got in touch with the service were for toothache, vomiting and abdominal pain - a fallout from the rise in the "winter vomiting" bug norovirus.

And visits to NHS Direct's website were more than double those made over Christmas 2006, with 852,533 queries compared with 413,865.

The most visited topic areas were those about flu, chickenpox and chest infections.

In total, NHS Direct typically handles more than 22,000 calls every day and more than six million each year.

NHS Direct

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