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NHS 111 and GP OOH “brought closer together”


19 October 2015

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NHS 111 and GP out of hours services (OOH) will be “brought closer together” to provide a “new front door” to urgent care, NHS England has announced.

The move is part of NHS England’s ongoing Urgent and Emergency Care Review and will see a streamlining of the way urgent care services are provided around the country.

NHS 111 and GP out of hours services (OOH) will be “brought closer together” to provide a “new front door” to urgent care, NHS England has announced.

The move is part of NHS England’s ongoing Urgent and Emergency Care Review and will see a streamlining of the way urgent care services are provided around the country.

Commissioners are therefore being recommended to establish “urgent care clinical hubs”, to provide clinical advice and support to patients as well as professionals working in out-of-hospital settings.

In preparation for this more integrated service NHS England has published new commissioning standards guidance on how to bring together call handling and assessment, clinical advice and treatment under a single commissioning framework.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s director for acute care, who is heading the review, said: “A fundamental redesign of the NHS urgent care ‘front door’ is much needed and now underway. This includes A&E, GPs, 999, 111, out of hours, community and social care services. Let’s make finding urgent help simple – 111 if it can’t wait until tomorrow, and 999 for real emergencies.

“Most patients access urgent healthcare through their own GP practice in the daytime and we expect this will remain the first point of contact in the future. But around the clock the ‘111’ number will find you GP and other urgent health care advice – so it makes sense to align the GP out-of-hours calls behind the same ‘111’ number,” he added.

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