The new 111 urgent care service must be commissioned and monitored at a regional level, rather than by individual GP consortia, the Ambulance Service Network has warned.

The service was launched on Monday in County Durham and Darlington, where it will be run by North East Ambulance Service Trust.

It will also be introduced later in the year in Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Luton before national roll-out. Each pilot area will test out a different way of delivering the service, including via ambulance trusts, out of hours services and NHS Direct.

The white paper has allocated monitoring of contracts for urgent care services in future to the control of GP consortia.

Ambulance Service Network director Jo Webber called for clarity on regional co-ordination.

She said: “These services need to be commissioned at a regional level whether that is through lead consortia or a regional job of the commissioning board.”