NHS organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have announced their preferred bidders for a new integrated urgent and primary care service and home visiting service.
DHU 4Fed Urgent Care (West Leicestershire) CIC (a joint venture between DHU Health Care CIC and all four West Leicestershire GP Federations) is the preferred bidder to provide a new model of urgent care for the population in West Leicestershire that will enable patients with an urgent care need to have quicker access to a service that can assess their condition and diagnose and treat it.
The new service has been commissioned by West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and will provide clear benefits for patients who have urgent care needs when their GP practice is closed, by providing access to out of hours clinicians who will be based in primary care hubs in Hinckley and Coalville hospitals and in the urgent care centre in Loughborough, which will provide a service 24 hours a day including diagnostics and a service for minor injuries.
In addition, West Leicestershire CCG, East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG and Leicester City CCG have also announced that DHU Health Care CIC (DHU) is the preferred bidder to provide an urgent care home visiting service. The service offers patients who have complex needs or may be housebound a home visit so that they can receive help quickly and avoid the need to call an ambulance. The service will be available 24/7.
Dr Nick Willmott, who is a GP and Clinical Lead for Urgent Care said: “We are really pleased to announce our preferred bidders after going through a very robust procurement process.
DHU 4Fed Urgent Care (West Leicestershire) CIC brings together a consortium of service providers with the skills and expertise who will be working as a cohesive team to give patients access to services 24/7 which will result in a reduction in the number of emergency admissions and attendances in emergency departments.
“We know that frail and older people recover much quicker if they can remain in their usual place of residence and the home visiting service which will be provided by DHU will improve the patient experience and their outcomes.”
DHU Health Care is a community interest company, with a not for profit social enterprise ethos, and is the current provider of NHS out-of-hours services and NHS 111 service in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as well as the provider of NHS 111 services across the East Midlands and has a strong track record in delivering a high standard of service.
Stephen Bateman, DHU Health Care CEO commented, “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded the Urgent Care and Home Visiting contracts, and especially delighted to be working with our GP Federation colleagues in West Leicestershire to deliver the integrated urgent care services together from April 2017. We look forward to building on our work with local clinicians, healthcare professionals and GP Federations to provide these important urgent care services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
Dr Anu Rao on behalf of West Leicestershire Federations commented, “We are pleased with the outcome of the procurement and look forward to working in collaboration with DHU. This is a great opportunity to provide seamless urgent care services to our patients across West Leicestershire. It also enables us to make sure patients have improved access and better diagnostic services within their local community.”
Dr Willmott added: “The new services will commence on 1 April 2017 and are part of a major improvement programme that health and social care professionals have been working on to provide 24 hours a day, 7 day a week services that get people the right care and treatment when they have an urgent need. We will be introducing more services which are easier to access and simple to use. We are encouraging people to make NHS 111 their first call for urgent care, where we have also introduced an easier way of navigating what we know is a complicated health and social care service which for appropriate patient may include talking to a specialist practitioner which could be a nurse, doctor or other professional who will be able to refer them to the right service that suites their need.”
The procurement process also sought to find a provider to deliver integrated primary and community urgent care services in Leicester City. Unfortunately the process didn’t successfully yield any affordable bids. Leicester City CCG will commence procurement again shortly and encourage organisations to bid to deliver urgent care in the city and current services will continue to operate while this happens.