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NHS 111 will not be fully rolled out until 2014

NHS 111 will not be fully rolled out until 2014, the NHS England deputy chief executive of NHS England has revealed.

Dame Barbara Hakin told a meeting of the NHS England Board on Thursday that the roll-out will not take place until the ‘early part of 2014’.

Commissioners in north Essex and Cornwall will have to run a full retendering process for NHS 111, following the original provider NHS Direct pulling out of its contracts and Dame Barbara said NHS England will not sign off on the rollout until it is completely satisfied they are ready.

The troubled urgent care helpline is not live in Devon, Cambridge and Peterborough, and Leicester and Rutland. It is also not fully live in the north west and the West Midlands, where discussions are continuing on the future of NHS Direct, which provides services in those two regions too.

NHS 111 was originally supposed to be rolled out by April 2013, but this was pushed back following warnings from the BMA about the tight deadlines.  

The publication of an independent investigation commissioned by NHS England found this week that local commissioners felt under political pressure to rollout NHS 111 on time and prioritised cost savings without properly testing to see if the service could be delivered at the lower price.