NHS England will spend £33m on reprocurement of technical elements for NHS 111 in order to meet a ‘challenging’ deadline of April 2015, it has said.
It aims to find a provider for the technical ‘telephony’ system, which routes calls to NHS 111 through to the correct local NHS providers.
This will cost £33m, a board paper revealed, and any ‘slippage’ in the timetable will lead to ‘loss of business continuity’.
The board paper listed one of the ‘chair’s actions as: ‘To approve the outline business case for the 111 telephony re-procurement at a projected whole life cost of £33.3 million. The timeline to achieve this re-procurement is challenging, and any slippage will impact on the set up and test phase and create a significant risk of loss of business continuity for the NHS 111 service.’
A spokesperson for NHS England said: ‘Without a national telephony contract in place, there would be no NHS 111 service. The technical telephony provides the infrastructure behind the service ie it takes the calls and routes them through the local providers of NHS services which have been locally commissioned by CCGs. By having this infrastructure in place it enables the public, no matter where they live or whatever their circumstances, to be able to call the service for free to meet their urgent health care needs.’
Please note – this article has been amended since it first appeared. It was wrongly stated that the £33m was going towards reprocuring the providers for NHS 111. We apologise for any confusion caused