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NHS 111 helpline 'in doubt'

The future of the non-emergency NHS 111 telephone service appears to be in doubt in part of England after one of the providers reported having problems keeping the service going.

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NHS Direct to pull out of two 111 services

In close discussions with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and North Essex commissioners and NHS England, NHS Direct has concluded that it is not possible to mobilise these two NHS 111 services, and NHS Direct will exit from the contracts.

The reason for this is that, since the launch of NHS Direct's other NHS 111 services, the Trust has established that the contract terms which NHS Direct had entered into are financially unsustainable.

We are very aware of the delays this has caused the new NHS 111 service in North Essex and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and we have formally apologised to the commissioners for this.

This decision does not affect our other NHS 111 contracts. We have worked with NHS England to agree a plan to ensure we can continue to provide safe and stable NHS 111 services in areas where we are already delivering NHS 111, working closely with local commissioners and other NHS providers.

– NHS DIRECT STATEMENT

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