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DH grants six-month extension to NHS 111 roll-out

The roll-out of the new urgent care number NHS 111 has been extended to October 2013 “in some cases” following discussions with CCG leaders.

In a letter to all health and social care professinals, the DH's National Director for Improvement and efficiency Jim Easton said the extension of “up to six months” would be granted by an “expert clinical panel” and should not delay roll-out in those areas that are ready to move ahead.

CCGs seeking an extension have been advised to submit an application in writing to their SHA Cluster Senior Responsible Officer, who is then required to pass the information onto the expert clinical panel by Friday 27 July 2012.

It is expected the criteria for extension applications will be published “shortly”.

Easton said the longer deadline will help ensure sufficient time can be taken “fully to engage local clinicians and build delivery models for NHS 111 that have the support and endorsement of all local stakeholders”.

However, Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive and General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said the six-month extension doesn't go far enough.

He has called for a “total pause” on the NHS 111 process until the final evaluation report on the new urgent NHS service is published and considered.

Question: Do you think the six-month extension will give clinicans enough time to ensure the success of NHS 111?