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​New Integrated Urgent Care service launches in Merton​​

Patients in Merton 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 have access to 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 NHS111 and OOH 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, ​Chief Operating Officer of NHS Sutton CCG who led the procurement for all the CCGs, 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 mental health nurses will be routinely available.

"Through integration, we can ensure that the two services work seamlessly together, reducing handovers, 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."

Recent patient surveys and feedback to Healthwatch Merton have shown that local people wanted to see a bolstering of out-of-hours services and more innovative use of technology.  Bringing this new service to Merton demonstrates that we are listening to patients and carers and ensuring health care is built around their needs.

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." 

Ends​

Notes to Editor

  1. The new contract will run for three years, with an option to extend for a further two years.
  2. South London Doctors Urgent Care is a partnership between two existing organisations – Vocare and SELDOC
    1. Vocare is an established provider of NHS111 across England and has significant experience in the provision of Urgent Care and Out-of-hours services across England and supporting national Learning and Development pilots in NHS111.
    2. SELDOC is an experienced provider of GP Out-of-hours services, currently providing the service across south east London and Sutton CCG
  3. Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth CCGs jointly procured the combined NHS 111 and GP OOH services.
  4. Croydon and Richmond CCGs jointly procured only NHS 111 services through this process. South London Doctors Urgent Care will be working closely with existing providers in these areas to ensure and work towards a seamless Integrated Urgent Care Service.
  5. For more information, please contact Michelle Wallington, Principal Associate, Communications and Engagement, mwallington@nhs.net or 07789 480589