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NHS 111 CCAS service ‘still needs clinicians’, says NHS England

The NHS 111 Covid clinical assessment service is ‘still in need of clinicians’ to staff it, NHS England has said.

The remote assessment service is seeing ‘increasing’ workload and needs those with ‘spare capacity’ to sign up for shifts, GPs were told in a webinar last week.

It comes as Pulse revealed last week that GPs are giving up on attempts to join the CCAS due to ‘bureaucracy and hurdles’ in the month-long onboarding process. 

In a previous webinar, Mr Waller said that the CCAS had ‘over 950 GPs available to work in the service’ - the ‘majority’ of whom are retired doctors. 

However, NHS England director for primary care strategy and NHS contracts Ed Waller last week encouraged GPs to continue signing up to ensure their time is ‘used well’.

He said: ‘For people who have spare capacity in their extended hours slots, that capacity could be offered to the 111 clinical assessment service where we’re still in need of clinicians who can sign honorary contracts to work in those slots - to make sure that their time is used well. 

‘We would really appreciate that.’

Mr Waller acknowledged that ‘a lot of practices’ are expecting or already experiencing demand ‘coming back quite significantly’ - but workload is also surging for the CCAS.

NHS England digital lead Dr Masood Nazir encouraged practices to ensure a ‘sufficient’ number of appointment slots are available for the CCAS to book into.

He said: ‘The workload is increasing [at the CCAS] and we envisage more and more of these slots will be needed.’

Practices were first asked to free up a minimum of one appointment per 500 patients each day to accept direct referrals from the CCAS in April.

NHS England later clarified that GPs could 'start with a smaller number' if the appointments are not filled up.

Earlier this month, practices were advised to contact or assess any Covid-19 patients referred to them within 30 minutes. 

The CCAS is staffed by clinicians to further triage Covid-19 patients after the NHS 111 algorithm has been unable to determine whether or not they need hospital admission.

In April, practices were told they could use their extended access time and funding to work at the CCAS if they don't need it to 'meet demand' - after NHS England put out an 'urgent' call to offer up their spare time to the service.

Readers' comments (12)


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  • Shut down CCAS. Pointless exercise. Thanks anyone out there who volunteered through bystander guilt, but you’re not helping. We want resources (money) in practices to deal with this sh**show

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  • The emphasis is all on free work ,I work for 111 and there are no Paid Shifts left to book at least for another 3 months.Doctors are ready to work for appropriate Pay.

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  • due to excessive workload and poor pay i am dropping my sessions downwards this year - why would i volunteer to do the same work for nothing when all it does is put me at risk of being sued by patients and or relatives 2nd to the debacle that has been the covid response by those in supposedly the know. It appears the flu model is woefully inadequate for covid and we should have followed the sars model as demonstrated by asian countries, with far less deaths than us, by miles. we told the government to shut the borders in February. they have never been shut and there is no airport screening of those entering the UK of any particular note. we have been left to pick up the pieces of others incompetence, yet again. and pay for it either out of our own pockets or with our lives. shameful.

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  • I agree vadar. Look after yourself, or you'll be statistic in some moronic scandalous elitest game. Some GPs need to stop playing hero, you've been brainwashed, and no one ultimately cares.

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  • Sadly Patrufinito is right..... no-one cares......

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  • HELLO 111, I’M OVER HERE! Fully qualified, up to date locum GP who is available, and wouldn’t mind a spot of work. Oh, sorry, I did say work, the kind that one gets paid for, not volunteering... Ah. Is this why you have essentially ignored my application and subsequent emails?

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  • Just to clarify -
    CCAS is not volunteering - they pay £50 an hour for a day shift, more on nights and weekends

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  • Jog on.

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  • I think my plumber will refuse to work for CCAS for £50 an hour. Total joke

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