Merging 999 and 111 services will be beneficial for Shropshire A&Es - health bosses
Merging the 999 and 111 call services 'makes sense for patients' and will be beneficial for A&Es in Shropshire, health commissioners say.
Ambulance bosses say integrating the 999 and 111 services in the West Midlands will lead to 'significant improvements for patient care'.
Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which buy healthcare services for people in the region, also agree that it will bring benefits.
In a joint statement, the CCGs said: “We are supportive of the integration of the NHS 111 and 999 services – this makes sense for our patients.
“WMAS outlines that the move will see a reduction in ambulance demand and the number of admissions to A&E, which will be particularly beneficial to our local area.”
Hospital bosses say the county's A&Es have had to cope with unprecedented demand and delays surrounding ambulance staff handing over patients have also posed a problem.
WMAS also intends to recruit new staff and retrain its workers so they will all be able to deal with both 999 and 111 calls.
Staff currently employed by Care UK will TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) to WMAS.
People will still be asked to call 999 in cases of emergency and 111 if it isn’t an immediate emergency or a life-threatening condition.
WMAS stepped in to lead on the 111 service in parts of the Midlands for over a year in 2013, but lost the contract when it was put out to tender again.