Patients in south west London who need 24/7 urgent medical help will soon be able to benefit from a new Integrated Urgent Care service. The service combines the NHS 111 and GP Out of Hours (OOH) services, which forms part of a wider integrated urgent and emergency care system. Patients will benefit from a wider skill mix of specialised clinicians in a new NHS 111 clinical hub.
Following a competitive and robust procurement process run with the other five Clinical Commissioning Groups across south west London, South London Doctors Urgent Care was chosen as the preferred bidder to run the services from October 2016. A team of local evaluators with NHS 111 and Out of Hours experience, including patients, GPs and commissioners, scored and assessed the procurement responses. South London Doctors Urgent Care was awarded the contract based on an evaluation of quality, innovation and cost-effectiveness.
Integrated IT and telephony systems are some of the benefits of an integrated service, enabling efficient and accurate communication between medical staff and a better experience for patients.
The service is committed to working continually with patients, medical staff and health care providers to review patient experience, changes to patient outcomes and the quality of the patient journey.
Jonathan Bates, Senior Responsible Officer for the programme and Chief Officer of NHS Sutton CCG, said: "I am delighted to announce that, after a rigorous and thorough procurement process, we are awarding South London Doctors Urgent Care the contract to run the new Integrated Urgent Care Service.
"This new contract brings together and enhances two separate services which will be of huge benefit to all patients, including patients with complex needs. The integrated service will be able to refer patients to more than one service, such as mental health support as well as healthcare, and there will be mental health nurses routinely available.
"Through integration, we can ensure that the two services work seamlessly together, reducing hand overs, cutting duplication and making sure patients have a better experience.
"The service is opening a new contact centre in south west London enabling local clinicians to get more involved and, as time goes on, it will be possible to include more local services and make better use of their local knowledge and expertise."
John Harrison, chief executive of South London Doctors Urgent Care, commented: "This is a positive step in the journey towards integrating urgent care services in the area and will give patients access to a mix of specialist clinicians. Our aim is to reduce the burden on local A&E services by delivering urgent care to patients when they need it, freeing up emergency departments for life threatening cases.
"We are also looking forward to collaborating with other healthcare providers for the benefit of patients in south west London."