Transforming NHS 111 and Out of Hours services for Sussex

What is NHS 111?

NHS 111 is the non-emergency number that people should call if they need medical help or advice but feel it’s not a life-threatening situation.

With experienced call handlers and clinicians available to assess a person’s needs and situation they can direct you to the best local services for the care you or someone you care for needs.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and is free from both landlines and mobile phones.

The NHS 111 service is a national service that is commissioned and managed locally by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).  

The NHS 111 service is currently provided by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), who sub-contracts some elements of the service to Care UK.  The existing contract covers Kent, Medway, Surrey and Sussex (KMSS) and is due to expire on 31 March 2019.

What is GP Out-of-Hours?

The NHS pledges to provide services at a time that is convenient for you.

GP Out-of-Hours is the service that gives people access to a GP when the surgeries are closed – usually from 6.30pm to 8.00am during the week and all day at the weekend and bank holidays.

At these times if you need access a GP NHS 111 can put you in touch with the out-of-hours service if it’s deemed the right treatment option for you.

The GP Out-of-Hours service is provided Integrated Care 24 (IC24) for patients across Sussex.  The GP Out-of-Hours contract is also due to expire on 31 March 2019.

What’s changing?

Across Sussex there are more than 7000 calls made to the NHS 111 service every week - clearly it is a key part of the NHS in Sussex.

The seven Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups; Coastal West Sussex (Host), Brighton and Hove, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex, High Weald Lewes Havens, Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford, and Hastings and Rother are working in collaboration to procure and award a new combined NHS 111 – Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) and GP Out-of-Hours service.

The development of the NHS 111 - Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) will be pivotal in bring urgent care services together within an Integrated Urgent Care model (IUC).  All CCGs are required to commission a service that delivers against the nine key elements of the IUC specification:-

  1. A single call to get an appointment during the out-of-hours period
  2. Data can be shared between providers
  3. The capacity for NHS 111 and urgent multidisciplinary clinical services needs to be jointly planned
  4. The Summary Care Record (SCR) is available in the CAS and elsewhere
  5. Care plans and special patient notes are shared
  6. Appointments can be made with in-hours GPs
  7. There is joint governance across Urgent and Emergency Care
  8. Suitable calls are transferred to a Clinical Assessment Service containing GPs and other health care and social care professionals

The Workforce Blueprint and guidance are implemented across all providers.

Get involved

Before any new contract is finalised, the CCGs want to explore with local people what their priorities are for this service. To ask questions that give them a clearer idea about what service they need to buy for our local population.

This summer we ran a public survey both online and printed in the local Sussex newspapers asking people about their current experiences of the NHS service, and what they thought of our proposed ideas for a future service. 

The views and experiences that have been captured through this survey will provide useful insight and information that will be used to inform and help shape the new NHS 111/Clinical Assessment Service and the development of the Sussex integrated urgent care services for Sussex. Find out what people have said.

We will continue to engage with our patients and local population to explore the themes and gaps that have been highlighted by this survey. 

Useful documents and links