DHU Healthcare delivers NHS 111 service for the Midlands

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Derbyshire based Community Interest Company (CIC) DHU Healthcare is now responsible for delivering NHS 111 services for people across the Midlands.

The move to a larger, regional NHS 111 provision to cover the whole of the Midlands area is part of the NHS Long Term Plan – designed to ensure calls from patients are answered more quickly and enabling providers to work closer within local systems.

As the country’s largest NHS 111 service provider, it means that DHU – who has delivered NHS 111 services in the Midlands since 2010 - will respond to an estimated five million calls every year, helping to get people the right advice and treatment when they urgently need it. That’s around one in every four calls made to NHS 111 in England annually.

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DHU’s Chief Executive, Stephen Bateman says: “We have worked hard to create exceptional NHS 111 services for the last 14 years - and since 2019 our 111 provisions have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Derby-based Advice Centre team at OrbisThe Derby-based Advice Centre team at Orbis
The Derby-based Advice Centre team at Orbis

"Thanks to the collective contributions of colleagues, we are proud to deliver compassionate, high-quality care and to be there for people when they need urgent medical advice.”

Managing Director of DHU’s 111 services, since inception in 2010, Pauline Hand continues: “For the past year we have been providing a 111 service to 92 percent of the Midlands and are delighted to be able to extend that service to the rest of the region.

"We look forward to working closely with our health partners and build on our place as one of the country’s most highly regarded NHS 111 service providers.”

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DHU’s position as preferred provider for 111 services in the Midlands has enabled the company to continue to invest in bases across the region, offering local employment and procurement opportunities.

The Derby-based team at Orbis Advice CentreThe Derby-based team at Orbis Advice Centre
The Derby-based team at Orbis Advice Centre

There are plans in place to move from a temporary NHS111 advice centre in Oldbury, West Midlands to a larger permanent building on the same site. In Chesterfield, DHU’s base in North Derbyshire, services will also move to double-sized premises just outside the town centre later in the year.

More roles have been developed to grow DHU’s NHS111 front-line team to better serve the Midlands and the existing telephony system for the service is to be replaced in April 2024 - with a technology platform designed to improve both the patient and health advisors experience.

The Midlands service is commissioned and managed by both the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB/BCICB) on behalf of the West Midlands ICBs; and Derby and Derbyshire ICB (DDICB) on behalf of ICBs in the East Midlands.

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The move to provide a single service for the Midlands, means DHU will also become the NHS111 provider for Staffordshire – a new area it will mobilise services into.

Ruth Batt is Integration Director for 999/111 NHS Derby and Derbyshire ICB. She comments: “National NHS policy advocates NHS 111 services operate regionally - to ensure calls from patients are answered swiftly across larger geographies.

“Working in partnership with our Integrated Care Board partners in the Black Country and Staffordshire, we have been able to secure NHS 111 provision across the Midlands and look forward to collaborating with DHU to ensure the exceptional services they already deliver continue for all our patients and communities.”

There will be no break in service for any patients in the Midlands area, access to NHS 111 online and via telephone will continue to operate seamlessly -with the usual around the clock access to anyone needing urgent medical help.

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