– report by 111 Programme Director
16.1 The Board considered a report providing an update on the progress of the procurement of a new NHS 111 model.
16.2 The 111 Programme Director provided the following additional information in relation to the NHS 111 contract:
· The new NHS 111 contract will bring the current Out of Hours (OOH) and 111 services under a single contract, which is in accordance with national urgent care specifications.
· The current 111 service signposts patients to other areas of the healthcare system. The new 111 service will be able to provide patients with clinical assessments and book them appointments at urgent care centres and other healthcare services.
· The new NHS 111 service will be awarded as a five year contract with a potential two year extension. The contract is expected to be awarded in August 2018 ahead of a 1 April 2019 go live date. The existing contract covers Kent, Surrey and Sussex whereas the new contract will cover the Sussex area only.16.3 The Board asked several questions and the following answers were provided:
· There is a national requirement that callers to 111 who do not speak English are transferred to someone who speaks their language. This requirement will be written in to the service specification for the new 111 service.
· It is expected that there will be challenges during the transition period from the current to the new 111 contract. In anticipation, there is a permanent transition team in place that will be in post throughout the transition period; plans are being made for all possible eventualities based on experience of in-house and external procurements; and there is an expectation that the transition team will be able to react to emerging challenges during the transition period.
· The NHS 111 contract will be awarded to a single lead provider that will be the only organisation that the commissioners deal with directly. It is possible that this lead provider will employ individual subcontractors to deliver the OOH, clinical assessment and call handling element of the 111 contract.
· Under the current 111 system call handlers often refer high risk groups to an A&E department. Under the new NHS 111 model, however, call handlers will be more responsive to the needs of patients and will be able to refer high risk patients to the most appropriate clinician or healthcare service. Work is underway to identify high risk groups – for example, under 2 year olds, frail and elderly, mental health, and end of life care patients – and identify those clinicians or areas of the healthcare service best able to accommodate their needs.
· In East Sussex NHS 111 will refer patients to those areas of the healthcare system that can provide them with urgent medical care and Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC) will refer patients with more complex needs to services that provide social care, more long-term community health care, or care available outside the NHS. NHS 111 commissioners are working out the best way for NHS 111 to link in with HSCC to ensure that patient flow will work correctly between the two services and patients will be referred to the right areas within the health and care system.
16.4 The Board suggested that the district and boroughs’ Council Tax leaflets – which are circulated to all residents on an annual basis – could be used as an effective way of communicating the changes to the 111 service.
16.5 The Board RESOLVED to note the report.