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New contract enhances GP out-of-hours access across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

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GP out-of-hours services will be enhanced across much of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent following the signing of two new contracts.

The contracts will support GP practices in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as separate services in the South of Staffordshire which includes servicing prisons in the region.

The service will be provided by Totally Urgent Care and will initially run until 31 March 2027 and include a new service model, bringing care closer to patients as well as the ability for virtual consultations from a patient’s own home where clinically appropriate.

Under the new contract arrangements GP out-of-hours services will include:

  • Extended opening hours at the Haywood Hospital. Patients will be able to access care seven days a week between the hours of 6pm – 11pm on weekdays and 10am – 10pm on weekends and bank holidays.
  • A new service will be opening in Leek between 11am and 5pm on weekends.
  • Reopening of the weekend service at County Hospital in Stafford in May, with opening hours of 10am – 10pm.

Dr Steve Fawcett, Medical Director for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs said: “GP out-of-hours services are important to many people, especially those that cannot make appointments during normal GP opening hours.

“They also provided much needed back-up capacity to our very busy GP practices across the area.

“We awarded these contracts following an open procurement process and have been able to enhance a number of existing services which is something we are delighted about.”

Further additions to the service will include remote consultations based within pharmacies in the Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire district. The service in Cannock Chase will remain available 6pm – 8am weekdays and 24 hours at weekends, and in Tamworth 7pm until 11pm weekdays and 9am-10pm weekends.

Commissioners awarded the contracts following an open procurement process, which was carried out in-line with Government regulations around NHS contracts.

The GP out of hours service is available via NHS 111, delivered by Vocare, part of Totally’s Urgent Care Division. Vocare is a long-standing partner for NHS 111 in the region, answering around 30,000 calls per month from patients seeking advice and access to care.