At least £33 million will have to be spent to re-procure NHS 111 services, NHS England has revealed.
The urgent phone line’s roll our last year has seen services transferred back to out-of-hours providers after NHS Direct – the biggest supplier – withdrew from all contracts.
The £33 million will be spent on top of funds from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) who have had to procure services locally.
A recently released NHS England board paper stated that the current timeline for the re-procurement process will be “challenging”.
The paper reads: “Any slippage will impact on the set up and test phase and create a significant risk of loss of business continuity for the NHS 111 service.”
British Medical Association GP committee negotiator Dr Peter Holden said that this is “wasted money”.
He told Pulse: “Another £33.3 million of precious NHS resource wasted because civil servants, health service managers and others advising ministers refused to listen to or transmit the profession’s expert opinion that the system was set up to fail.”