Sussex residents are set to get a new dedicated county-wide NHS 111 hotline, it can be revealed.
NHS bosses behind the plan are calling for the public’s help to ensure patients get to speak to the right people, at the right time about their ailments.
With more than 350,000 calls made every year to NHS 111 from across Sussex, it has become a key part of the NHS in this area for local communities.
The service is currently purchased across Kent, Medway, Surrey and Sussex and managed locally by the seven Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups – NHS organisations responsible for buying and paying for health care services .
The Seven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are now working together to re-procure a new Sussex NHS 111 service from April 2019. The county’s CCGs include Coastal West Sussex CCG; Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG; Crawley CCG; Brighton and Hove CCG; High Weald Lewes Havens CCG; Hastings and Rother CCG and Eastbourne and Hailsham and Seaford CCG
Dr Victoria Beattie is one of the clinical leads at NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG and she supports the CCG on what services are and need to be in place for people when they need them urgently.
She said: “All parts of the NHS, from our GPs, to our hospitals to our Accident and Emergency services, are under a lot of pressure and we need to make sure that they all work well together.
“We are working towards a new NHS 111 service that will link far more closely with other urgent and emergency care services, including ambulances, out-of-hours GPs, urgent treatment centres and walk-in centres so that patients get the right service at the right time.”
Marie Dodd, chief operation officer at Coastal West Sussex CCG added: “As the host commissioner for the re-procurement of the Sussex NHS 111 service we need to get this right.
“The Sussex NHS 111 service will be vital in terms of providing advice and support to people with urgent, but not life-threatening, health concerns, but it must play a central role in managing demand on other parts of the local health service - especially in our A&Es and GP surgeries”.
Have your say:
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 will give them a better idea about what the services they need to procure for 111 in Sussex.
The survey is available online at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SussexNHS111 and will be in next week’s Crawley Observer.