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News : NHS 111 Service to Take Calls Out-of-Hours Across Shropshire


Shropshire, England, July 13, 2018 - Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are currently the only areas in England which have not already made the change to fully integrate these services so that patients access 'urgent care' services, including out-of-hours, via the 111 phone number.

But the planned changeover has also sparked concern from health campaigners.

The original plan was to move to the NHS 111 number in April, but there was a delay to ensure Welsh patients registered with English practices accessed the right number.

They will continue to use the Shropdoc number to access out-of-hours GP services until Powys gets the Welsh 111 later this year.

Speaking about the changeover in Shropshire, Dr Julie Davies, director of performance and delivery at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, told a recent meeting of its governance board: "Everything is on track for the 17th."

However, Gill George, chairwoman for Shropshire Defend Our NHS, says she is concerned about the change.

She says people will have to ring a call centre and the choice to contact a local GP will be taken out of their hands.

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She claims it will lead to worse care for people and added pressure on ambulance and A&E services.

Ms George, who has called for MPs to intervene, said: "The shape of future services? The computer will see you now.

"What’s astonishing is that there has been no public consultation about this at all.

"Most people haven’t got a clue that this is happening, and yet on July 17 direct access to this incredibly important service will be taken away from us.

"Given a choice, most of us would rather have clinical decisions taken by a trusted local GP than a computer in Dudley.

"The CCGs say they’re not able to consult because it’s a national instruction.

"In that case, will our MPs express a view? Are they really happy to just go along with worse care for their constituents? Surely not.

"It’s time for our MPs to intervene and get a waiver for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin."

A report to the CCG said: "Performance levels in terms of current provision (NHS 111) provided by Care UK have been steadily improving under close scrutiny from the lead commissioner Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG.

"The Care UK Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) has been extending capacity and capability and this, together with an improved triage model is assisting with decreasing emergency care dispositions.

"Complex patients, children, dental, mental health and over 75s will have direct telephone assessment access to GPs within the CAS."

It was announced earlier this month that out-of-hours GP care in Shropshire will be provided by a new partnership from October.

The group which will run the service is a partnership between Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Shropshire Doctors Co-operative Ltd (Shropdoc).

The contract for the service, which has been provided by Shropdoc on its own until now, will begin on October 1.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About NHS:
Company LogoNHS Direct is a 24 hour health advice and information service provided by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. NHS Direct provides confidential access to medical information, guidance and reassurance through a range of interactive services. These include an expert telephone advice line and detailed web resources.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Printing Telephone & Fax Numbers

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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