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Table 2 Overview of similarities and differences of barriers/facilitators across the sample groups towards using NHS Direct

From: Barriers and facilitators to using NHS Direct: a qualitative study of `users’ and `non-users’

Theme User groups Bedfordshire Non-user groups Manchester Non-user groups Mendip
Awareness of service • Good awareness and understanding of service • Lack of awareness • Lack of awareness
• Most participants had used a wide range of services NHS Direct had e.g. online self-assessment tool • Most participants had not heard of NHS Direct or services they provide • Most participants had not heard of NHS Direct or services they provide
• Some misunderstandings of what NHS Direct is • Some misunderstandings of what NHS Direct is
Cost to the individual • Most participants were not aware of the cost from a mobile phone • Viewed as very expensive • Expense was not viewed as a barrier
• All participants had a landline phone • Many of the participants did not have a landline phone • All participants had a landline phone
Ease of use • All participants found the service easy to use • Some participants felt that this would be an easy to use service • Difficulties in hearing over the phone
• Viewed easier than using conventional out-of hours services • Concern of complicated phone service with lots of options • Dislike of answering lots of questions over phone
• Being passed from person to person • Difficulty of understanding foreign accents
• Language barriers e.g. non English speaking • Technical issues e.g. afraid of being cut off
• Memory would make it difficult to use
Time/Speed • Seen as instant advice and reassurance • Concerned about waiting a long time for a call back • Concerned about waiting a long time for a call back
• Was viewed as a key advantage to using the service • Was viewed as wasting time • Was viewed as wasting time
• Sometimes there was a long time to wait for a call back from a nurse
Acceptability of non-face-to-face healthcare • Positive attitudes towards not having face-to-face contact • Preference for face-to-face healthcare • Preference for face-to-face healthcare
• Provided reassurance • Would feel that they are unable to express themselves • Would feel that they are unable to express themselves
• Viewed service as personable and professional • Would not provide reassurance • Would not provide reassurance
• Was not viewed as personable • Was not viewed as personable