NHS 111 rollout deadline extended

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has confirmed that it will be delaying the deadline for the introduction of its NHS 111 telephone service.

Under the new plans, clinical commissioning groups will be able to apply for an extension of up to six months on top of the original April 2013 deadline, with cases judged by an expert clinical panel.

The purpose of this move is to ensure that the necessary time can be taken to build robust delivery models for the multipurpose phone service, while also engaging local clinicians as fully as possible.

Having voiced its concerns over the previous schedule for the NHS 111 rollout in the past, the British Medical Association (BMA) has responded positively to this latest announcement.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, said the principle of facilitating patient access to NHS services is sound, but the speed of the previous rollout plans undermined this.

"Hopefully, now there will be sufficient time to ensure local clinicians are properly involved, so services can be designed that will be safe, reliable and genuinely benefit patients," he explained.

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