• Sixteen West Midlands CCGs launch integrated NHS 111 and out of hours service
  • Care UK to deliver NHS 111 services across the region
  • Seven urgent care providers have formed an alliance agreement to integrate with 111 services
  • Patients can access social care through new 111 service

Sixteen West Midlands clinical commissioning groups are set to mobilise a new integrated NHS 111, GP out of hours and urgent care service across a population of 4.6 million after awarding a set of contracts worth up to £172m.

In March 2016, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, on behalf of the 16 CCGs, launched a procurement process for an integrated NHS 111 and out of hours GP services contract. Tender documents revealed the deal was worth between £86.4m and £172.1m, from July 2016 to July 2022. The CCGs have refused reveal the new combined contract value.

Care UK has been chosen to deliver NHS 111 and “clinical hub” services. Four providers have won new contracts for out of hours services in Birmingham South Central, Herefordshire, Sandwell and West Birmingham, and Rugby. The remaining areas have adapted existing out of hours contracts.

The deal is made up of two main elements: a single NHS 111 service for the entire patch, plus individual out of hours contracts for each CCG. An overarching alliance contract links the 111 service to out of hours, with the intention of making the services more integrated than they are at present.

The first element is intended to provide a single point of access through 111 services bringing together urgent care, GP out of hours services, ambulance services and social care. The alliance agreement between providers will allow for closer working between 111, out of hours and urgent care providers.

Patients can access the services by dialling 111 and will then be directed to the appropriate services, including social care services.

Eight of the CCGs had existing out of hours agreements but have varied contracts with their current providers to fully integrate with the new 111 service.

The new contracts, due to go live in November, will be integrated with the existing contracts through the alliance agreement.

The original procurement of NHS 111 across the 16 CCGs fell apart last year as no “acceptable” bids were made.

The table below shows the providers for each CCG and each service.

Service and areaNew providerPrevious provider

NHS 111 clinical hub service: 16 CCGs

Care UK

Vocare

OOH service: Birmingham South Central CCG

Badger

Primecare and Badger Group

OOH service: South Worcestershire CCG; Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG; Wyre Forest CCG.

Care UK

Care UK

OOH service: Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG

Primecare

Primecare

OOH service: Herefordshire CCG

Primecare

Primecare

OOH service: South Warwickshire CCG, Warwickshire North CCG

Care UK

Care UK

OOH service: Coventry and Rugby CCG (Rugby only)

Vocare

Care UK

OOH service: Birmingham CrossCity CCG

Primecare and Badger Group

Primecare and Badger Group

OOH service: Coventry and Rugby CCG (Coventry only)

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust

OOH service: Dudley CCG

Malling Healthcare

Malling Healthcare

OOH service: Solihull CCG

Badger

Badger

OOH service: Walsall CCG

Primecare

Primecare

OOH service: Wolverhampton CCG

Vocare

Vocare

OOH service: Shropshire CCG; Telford and Wrekin CCG

Shropdoc

Shropdoc

Jonathan Leach, clinical lead for NHS 111 for the West Midlands CCGs, said: “This model will bring closer working relationships between the urgent care system, the GP out of hours services, social care, the ambulance services and the NHS 111 service, ultimately aiming to provide service that benefits patients round the clock.

“The new service provides a single access point through the NHS 111 service which will direct patients to the right service for thier needs. The service redesign will enable earlier clinical assesment and advice through the introduction of a clinical hub.”