NHS 111 - Update

Since the last stakeholder bulletin, developments have been happening at pace as NWAS and our NHS 111 delivery partners (FCMS and UC24) continue to work closely with the North West NHS 111 Programme Board, Lead Commissioner Team and County Leads to effectively mobilise the new, ‘full’ service across the region.

The full NHS 111 service, which includes the handling of GP Out-of-Hours (OOHs) calls, is being mobilised across the North West on a three-phase basis to ensure the forecasted increase in calls can be most effectively managed, whilst ensuring system stability and patient safety at all times. The North West 111 service was already managing in the region of 20,000 calls per week. The expansion of the service to include the management of GP OOH calls will create additional call demand, but for patients it introduces a common single point of contact for their urgent care needs, and an assessment system which matches their clinical need to the available services in their local area.

The phased mobilisation commenced on 1 October with the introduction of the full service to the Cheshire and Merseyside area - introducing an additional 4,800 calls per week to the North West NHS 111 service. Tuesday 20 October marked the start of Phase Two of mobilisation when the full  NHS 111 service was extended across Lancashire, swiftly followed by its rollout across Cumbria - adding a further 3,000 calls per week to the North West service.

From the start of service mobilisation on 1 October to 31 October 2015, we saw a 63% increase in calls received by the North West NHS 111 service compared to October 2014, when the service received 64,700 calls.  When the North West NHS 111 Service mobilisation is complete with the final phase of implementation across Greater Manchester this month, we will be handling around 37,000 calls in any given week – making NWAS and its delivery partners the largest provider of the NHS 111 Service in the UK, both in terms of calls received and geographical area covered.

Ahead of service mobilisation, the Trust and our delivery partners went through an extensive NHS England compliance process to ensure we fully met all of the criteria set-out in the national NHS 111 Assurance Framework.  This focussed on the key areas of Clinical Delivery, Estates and Infrastructure; Technical Readiness, Workforce and Rota planning, and the testing of Business Continuity Plans – We were found to be fully compliant in all areas and full assurance was achieved.  

Firm governance arrangements are in place with the North West NHS 111 Programme Board and Lead Commissioning Team to provide continuous service performance assurance.  The Trust’s ongoing engagement activities across the region - in particular with CCGs, GP OOH providers and patients - also continue to ensure that key stakeholders understand the NHS 111 service, how it is being mobilised and what the implications of that are for them.  We are well placed to continue to deliver a stable and efficient NHS 111 service, offering excellence in patient care and support to the population of the North West.  

If you have any queries in relation to the North West NHS 111 service you can contact the via email at 111@nwas.nhs.uk