NHS 111 and out-of-hours - have your say on changes to NHS services

NHS 111 is an established national service which allows people with urgent care needs to access the right advice, in the right place, first time. It is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can be used when someone urgently needs medical help but it is not a life-threatening situation. Out-of-hours services are NHS health care services that are available when you have an urgent need and your GP surgery is closed.

Six Clinical Commissioning Groups (Basildon and Brentwood, Castle Point and Rochford, Mid Essex, West Essex, Southend and Thurrock) across Essex have decided to work together to make changes to your NHS 111 and out-of-hours services.  By working together, we believe we can provide a service that is there whenever you need it and makes sure you receive the right care, first time. 

More people than ever are now accessing out-of-hours NHS services. While this is positive in terms of fewer unnecessary 999 calls and A&E visits being made, it does mean that we need to make sure that our local NHS 111 and out-of-hours services are able to support everyone who needs them.

We also want to bring the services we have closer together, combining these into a single integrated urgent care service which will provide a ‘front door’ to the NHS in mid, south and west Essex. Whether you need access to a GP or advice from a trained nurse to allow you to treat yourself at home, you can call one number and receive the right support.

We want to hear from you

To make sure that this key NHS service delivers what local people need, we want to hear your views on the current services and ideas for improving services for the local population.

It is important to us that any changes we introduce will help make the service easier to use, ensure you get the right help faster, and make the best use of the public funds we invest into it. You can complete an online survey here, or attend one of a number of events taking place across Essex, where you can share your views and hear more about the plans.

All events are rolling drop in sessions: (09.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm & 2pm)

15 September - Chelmsford
Central Baptist Church, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LN

19 September - Southend
CCG Offices, Harcourt House, 5-15 Harcourt Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6HT

20 September - Epping
CCG Offices, St Margaret’s Hospital, Building 4, Spencer Close, The Plain, Epping, CM16 6TN

23 September - Basildon
CCG Offices, Phoenix Place, Christopher Martin Road, Basildon, SS14 3HG

Key messages:

  • We are looking to redesign a key NHS service within your area and we want you to be involved
  • There are some aspects of the service which cannot be changed, but we are keen to hear from you about how you think other areas of the service could be improved
  • We are doing this so that the service you receive is smooth, accessible whenever you need it and is able to withstand further budget constraints we may face in the future
  • By bringing NHS services closer together, and working in a more joined up way, we believe your urgent care and out-of-hours services will enable you to receive the right care, first time
  • We also want to be able to offer you care that is closer to home, in community settings where possible, rather than in hospitals
  • We want to be able to support you to administer self-care where appropriate, with the support and advice from a clinician via the telephone

Your new service will definitely provide you with the following:

  • A free to call number (111) that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
  • Whenever possible, you won’t have to repeat or explain your story to multiple people
  • When you call, you will speak to a trained health advisor who will assess you symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate source of support
  • You will be asked if it’s OK to access your Summary Care Record which means the person you are speaking to can see you medical notes, details of medication and previous treatment. You can refuse for this to be made available should you wish to do so


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