111 pilots suspended in London25th November 2011
Plans to pilot the NHS 111 non-emergency numbers has been put on hold in parts of London.
Concerns that the move may be open to a legal challenge mean that there will be delays in the plan in areas covered by Inner North West London PCTs and NHS Hillingdon.
Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster pilots were supposed to go live this month but as the contracts were awarded without a tender process, there is the risk of a legal challenge.
A spokesperson for NHS North West London said: “The decision has been taken to delay the roll-out of the pilot NHS 111 service in Inner North West London PCTs and NHS Hillingdon as it did not meet our standing financial instructions or the rules laid out in the Public Contracts Regulation 2006.
“This could lead to the risk of a legal challenge if allowed to continue, so more time has been given to resolve the issues before beginning the pilots.”
A revised timetable for implementation has now been agreed and will see an accelerated procurement completed by next spring with the aim of having the NHS 111 service available in North West London as soon as possible.
The PCT cluster is set to open the tender process to bidders in the near future.
The delay comes as the newly released Department of Health’s Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2012-13 highlights the need for strategic health authority clusters to make sure NHS 111 covers the entire country by April 2013.
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