COMMERCIAL: Derbyshire Health United’s contract to run call handling, triage and primary care services out of normal working hours for GP practices has been extended for an additional six months.

This is because High Peak Clinical Commissioning Group, which coordinates the tender, and the NHS Derbyshire Cluster, feel “it would be advantageous” to tender the services at the same time as a provider is identified to run the new 111 service.

This would involve extending the DHU contract for a six month period from April 2013 to the end of September 2013, when the pilot phase of 111 comes to an end.

111 is the single number to access NHS urgent healthcare services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will, by April 2013, replace the NHS Direct number 0845 4647.

In July 2010 an option appraisal identified DHU as the preferred call handling partner for the introduction of the 111 pilot in the county.  The 111 pilot in Derbyshire commenced on 19th October 2011 covering Matlock and Bakewell and Chesterfield.  The pilot will be extended to the rest of North Derbyshire in February 2012 and to Derby City in March 2012.  The remainder of Derbyshire will be fully covered by September 2012.