111 imageThe people we serve are to benefit from changes to 111 services.

From now on, callers from Coventry and Warwickshire to 111 will speak to operators from West Midlands Ambulance Service not private operator Care UK, who previously ran the service in the West Midlands.

The change is the first step in a process that will lead to significant improvements for patient care through fully integrating NHS urgent and emergency care services.

The new service will see fewer patients being sent ambulances unnecessarily and lead to a reduction in the number attending A&E.

Instead, patients will be cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs - including more being provided with care over the phone by a team including GPs; advanced nurse practitioners; community mental health teams; pharmacists, dental nurses, paramedics and midwives.

More calls will also be diverted to GPs, urgent treatment centres and rapid response services operated in the community.

In a statement announcing the change, West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “We have an outstanding track record in running complex clinical call handling operations. This expertise will allow us to bring real improvements to the 111 service for both patients and our staff. We will build on the good work that Care UK, the previous provider, had initiated. We have already taken on over 200 additional staff so that we can maintain the current service at the highest possible level.”

Jeremy Brown, WMAS Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care Director, added: “Our main focus is to make accessing NHS services easier for patients. The change will also make it easier for our ambulance crews to find alternatives to taking a patient to A&E as they will have the full range of services available to them.

”I want to pay tribute to the staff that have joined us from the existing 111 service. They have absolutely embraced our vision of making the service as easy as possible for patients and together with our existing staff are committed to taking the 111 service to the next level"

UNISON union Regional Organiser Chanel Camilleri-Willis said: “We are delighted that the 111 service has returned to the NHS family. This is excellent news for both staff and patients. West Midlands Ambulance Service already demonstrates outstanding patient care on a daily basis and I have no doubt that they will bring that same high level of performance and patient care with the 111 service. As well as stability of employment this will provide staff with tremendous opportunities to develop and progress their careers.”


More information can be found in this press release from West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust.



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