The NHS 111 service in Kent and Medway will be provided by a partnership between South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) and Harmoni, who have been named today as the preferred provider of the service.
NHS 111 will make it easier for people to get help quickly when they have an urgent health need. When someone phones 111, a trained call handler, supported by health professionals, will provide them with a clinical assessment at the first point of contact, without the caller having to wait for a call back.
111 will be free to call and will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Clinical commissioning groups, led by local GPs, and the board of NHS Kent and Medway agreed the preferred provider following an open, competitive tender process for the service.
Ann Sutton, Chief Executive of NHS Kent and Medway, said: “This is an important step in our journey towards providing patients in Kent and Medway with a single point of access for all urgent healthcare services. I look forward to working with SECAmb and Harmoni to make 111 a reality and to making local urgent health services easier to navigate for our patients.”
Dr Mark Jones, a GP in Canterbury, said: “I am delighted that we now know who our partner is for providing the 111 service, which will make urgent care better for our local patients. Over the coming months we will be working closely with SECAmb and Harmoni to prepare for the start of the 111 service by April 2013.”
NHS Kent and Medway is now finalising the contractual arrangements and plan to formally sign the contract later this month.