Sixteen West Midlands clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are launching integrated urgent care services that will operate 24/7.
The programme, which is led by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, will see the introduction of integrated NHS 111 services and Out of Hours GP services to ease the pressure on the region’s healthcare system.
The services will be operational from November, and new contracts have already been awarded to healthcare contractors to ensure the proper delivery of NHS 111 services and Out of Hours GP services in six areas of the region.
The existing contracts are being changed with the aim to ensure that the service providers deliver the services based on the needs of the region. The CCGs have managed to get all the healthcare providers to sign an alliance agreement so that they work together to ensure integrated and quality healthcare round the clock.
GP and Clinical Lead for NHS 111 and CCGs Dr Jonathan Leach stated that the new service offered a single access point via the NHS 111 service, which will be responsible for directing patients to the right service to manage their healthcare needs.
Dr Leach went on to add that the service has been redesigned to ensure that patients enjoy early clinical assessment as well as advice via a clinical centre. In addition, there will be a close collaboration between NHS 111, Out of Hours and urgent care providers.
Patients will be able to call NHS 111, get assessment and then be directed to the most appropriate care service based on their healthcare needs, said Dr Leach. He said that the introduction of urgent care services will allow patients to get access to the right care at the right time and place.
The working model of integrated urgent care services is designed to foster closer collaboration between all the service providers so that patients benefit round the clock.