A partnership between Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Kernow Health CIC and Vocare Limited has been chosen to run the new integrated GP out of hours and NHS 111 service for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The new service will be in place from 1 December 2017.
The new service combines the NHS 111 service, which is currently provided by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), and the GP out-of-hours service, which is currently provided by Devon Doctors. People will be able to use the new service from 1 December 2017.
Bringing these two services together means that patients will get the right help from a mix of clinical specialists, such as nurses, GPs and pharmacists. This will help relieve some of the pressure felt by 999 and General Practice and reduce Emergency Department attendances by ensuring people get the help they need, when they need it.
Patients will not see any change to how they access these services and will continue to call 111 for urgent health advice, to speak to an out-of-hours doctor, arrange an appointment at a treatment centre, or a home visit, if appropriate for their medical need.
NHS Kernow’s Governing Body member Dr Rob White said: “We are delighted that our new integrated NHS 111 and GP out of hours service will be provided by a team of doctors, nurses and specialist clinicians. They know first-hand what patients need, what works and are instrumental in helping us to create a joined-up health and care system. Anyone needing urgent help or advice will be able to speak to a clinician, if needed, either on the phone or in person at one of our treatment centres or in their home.
“This is an important step on our journey to create an integrated health and care system. Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Kernow Health CIC are key partners in our Shaping Our Future plans to create a sustainable system and understand the challenges we face. NHS 111 and the GP out of hours service are critical components of our urgent care service and uniting the two service will help us reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, re-admissions and attendance at the emergency department, which is critical to getting the system back on track.
“We would also like to thank SWASFT and Devon Doctors for their commitment to providing the NHS 111 and out of hours services and their support to help create an integrated healthcare system for people in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. We will be working closely with them to ensure the new service is in place for 1 December 2017.”
Welcoming the news Kernow Health CIC Medical Director Dr Andy May said: “Working together we have a great opportunity to provide seamless urgent and emergency care that is responsive to the needs of local people, best utilises the skills of our workforce and meets the demand on services, including in the Emergency Department and general practice.”
RCHT Clinical Director for Emergency Care Dr Toby Slade commented: “We’re delighted our joint bid has been successful. We firmly believe that locally managed and truly integrated 111 and GP out-of-hours services will help to address the bottlenecks in urgent and emergency care and make it easier for local people to access the right care, in the right place.”
The bid was fully supported by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which runs Cornwall’s network of minor injury units. The joined up approach will play a significant role in bringing together community and acute hospital-based urgent and emergency care services as part of the local sustainability and transformation plans, Shaping Our Future.
The partner organisations are already moving forward with their implementation plans and will be working closely with other agencies, including South Western Ambulance Services NHS Trust, in readiness for the new integrated GP out-of-hours and NHS111 service to launch on 1st December 2017.