Take it from a parent—helplines can never replace face-to-face consults


Having raised two kids with their fair share of middle-of-the-night wheezes and high fevers, thankfully we only once had cause to call an after-hours phone helpline.

The responses were so vague and risk averse that we subsequently chose to take our sick kids to see a real-life doctor for out-of-hours health scares. So it doesn’t surprise me that despite fielding almost one million patients encounters a year, there has been surprisingly little research into the