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CCG retenders NHS 111 contract due to ‘concerns’ over rollout

Exclusive GP commissioners in Cambridgeshire have decided to retender its NHS 111 service before it has even launched due to ‘concerns’ around the service.

Cambridge and Peterborough CCG told Pulse it had served notice on its contract with Urgent Care Cambridgeshire and would be retendering the service. But a spokesperson for UCC said that it would be appealing the decision.

The launch of the NHS 111 service nationally has been been beset by problems, with NHS England recently launching an urgent review of the service. This is thought to be the first case where GP commissioners have taken action and cancelled a contract that was originally negotiated by PCTs.

It emerged last month that LMC leaders were unable to talk publically about the rollout of NHS 111 in Cambridgeshire for ‘legal reasons’. The GPC also took legal advice and its members were advised not to make any public comment on the Cambridgeshire service, although the PCT denied that any legal injunction was in place.

Minutes from the meeting of the CCG’s quality and patient safety committee meeting on 12 March said: ‘Andy Vowles (chief operating officer) referred to the concerns around implementation of the 111 pilot which had been reported to the committee previously and the work that had taken place to support Urgent Care Cambridgeshire with the implementation process.’

‘The CCG governing body had reviewed progress with implementation and had agreed that UCC was not in a position to take forward the 111 pilot. Discussions were underway with two alternative providers. The decision on the preferred provider had been delegated to the CCG chair.’

A spokesperson for the CCG confirmed it was looking at an alternative provider. The spokesperson told Pulse: ‘Alternative provision of the 111 pilot is still under discussion with a potential provider. Further comment would be provided in due course.’

A spokesperson for UCC said: ‘We are appealing the decision and are hoping something positive will come out of this.’