NHS 24 is marking its 20th year of operation this May with the inauguration of a new centre in Hillington, Glasgow.
The new contact centre is set to house more staff to meet the needs of people across Scotland.
NHS 24 took its first call at 2.10pm on May 8, 2002, at its Riverside Contact Centre in Aberdeen – quickly followed by the 27 millionth call to the service, at 6:51am on March 26, 2002.
NHS 24’s chief executive, Jim Miller, said the 20th anniversary marks a “significant moment in the organisation’s history”.
Opening the new contact centre on Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “NHS 24 has been a critical part of our NHS in Scotland for many years, and it is fantastic to see the way the service continues to develop and adapt to the changing needs of the population.
“From the expanded 111 service available 24 hours a day seven days a week, to a key role in responding to the outbreak of COVID-19 and now dedicated mental health support through the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub and Breathing Space, it has become an indispensable part of our health service.
“The committed and professional staff providing these services work tirelessly day in and day out to make sure that the public always have access to the right information and support as quickly and as easily as possible. It is a pleasure to open the new Hillington centre and to be given the opportunity to put on record my thanks to everyone who has played a part in NHS 24’s journey over the past 20 years.”
The service was originally established as a pilot project to support patients in Grampian, however the telephone service quickly expanded and by 2004 was serving the whole of Scotland.
NHS 24’s chief executive, Jim Miller, said: “As we slowly emerge from the Cvoid-19 pandemic, NHS 24 is taking the opportunity to look at its services, technology and workforce to ensure we continue to meet the needs of people across Scotland.
“The progress we have made in the past two decades is really impressive and we are determined to continue to work collaboratively with colleagues across the health and social care system to make sure people get the right care in the right place.”