NHS Commissioners in Kent, Medway and Sussex have today (7th August 2019) announced that South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has been awarded a contract to provide the new NHS111 Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) for five years from April 2020.
SECAmb will act as lead provider with Integrated Care 24 (IC24) working in partnership to deliver key elements of the new service.
The contract, worth £18.1million in 2020/21, includes being able to issue prescriptions, have access over the phone to a wider range of Health Care Professionals such as GPs, Paramedics, Nurses and Pharmacists, who will be able to directly book people into urgent care appointments, if they need one.
Commissioners across Kent, Medway and Sussex have worked together to commission an integrated NHS111 telephony and Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) that meets patients’ health care needs on their first call, including a consultation with a doctor or nurse where it is needed.
NHS111 Clinical Lead for Sussex, Dr Victoria Beattie said: 'NHS111 will be pivotal in ensuring patients get access to the right care, at the right time and place for their symptoms. The new Clinical Assessment Service will mean patients can talk to a doctor or health care professional sooner, giving patients real confidence in the care they will receive.'
The contract award follows a six-month procurement process undertaken on behalf of the Sussex, Kent and Medway 15 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Senior Responsible Officer for NHS111 in Kent and Medway, Stuart Jeffery added: 'Following a robust procurement process, we are confident that by working with the ambulance service and their partners IC24, we will be in a good position to build the foundations for integrating urgent care across our regions.'
Both SECAmb and IC24 have put in place the foundations of enhancing NHS111 and a Clinical Assessment Service that more closely integrates with 999 and existing out-of-hours care. Working together, the organisations are developing a local CAS, which can support both emergency and urgent primary care. A joint clinical and operations leadership team will collectively drive standards.
SECAmb and IC24 will continue to develop their workforces and will offer exciting roles, which span across both emergency and urgent care services.
SECAmb Acting Chief Executive, Dr Fionna Moore said: 'The relationship between 999 and NHS111 is crucial and the first point of contact for hundreds of thousands of patients across our region each year. I am delighted that SECAmb and IC24 have successfully bid to provide this enhanced service to people across the region. I would like to thank everyone involved in achieving this and look forward to seeing the expected benefits of this partnership realised.'
Yvonne Taylor, Chief Executive of Integrated Care 24 said: 'We are excited to be working in partnership with SECAmb to deliver integrated urgent care services across Kent, Medway and Sussex. We are both experienced providers of NHS111 services and we are looking forward to developing the service and our partnership over the coming months and years. Working together will bring additional capacity and resilience to the service as we have the capability to deliver it across multiple sites and ensure our patients have access to the best possible care when they need us. We already have experience of delivering a clinical assessment service in other parts of the country and we will develop a joint clinical and operational leadership team to collectively drive standards and quality of urgent care.'