Five out-of-hours healthcare projects are sharing a £550,000 investment by government-backed funder Futurebuilders to create the Urgent Health UK (UHUK).
They are Herts Urgent Care (Hertfordshire), SELDOC (Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark), Urgent Care 24 (North Merseyside), South East Health (Kent) and Devon Doctors.
They already deliver services to five million people across England. The new project will enable 300,000 more people to access out-of-hours care because the partners can now bid for more contracts outside of their geographical areas.
The investment, the largest project of its kind in the UK, will also create more partnerships with NHS Direct.
Dr Simon Abrams, newly appointed medical director of UHUK, said: “GPs like working for not-for-profit companies rather than commercial providers because we share a common vision of how GP out-of-hours services should be delivered.”
Futurebuilders is a £215m fund offering support and investment to help third-sector groups win contracts to deliver public services. To date, it has offered over £146.7m in investments to nearly 288 organisations.
Chief executive Jonathan Lewis said: “This is exactly what third sector organisations should be doing. They have grasped a changing environment and adapted quickly to it.”
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