Plans that will eventually see the full integration of the 999 and 111 services in the West Midlands (except Staffordshire) have taken an important step forward with the 111 service transferring to West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The change, which took place yesterday at noon, is the first step of a process that will lead to significant improvements for patient care through fully integrating NHS urgent and emergency care services.
The new service will see fewer patients being sent ambulances and lead to a reduction in the number of patients asked to attend A&E.
Instead, the new model will support more patients being cared for in the most appropriate place for their needs. This will also include more patients being provided with care over the phone by a team including GPs; advanced nurse practitioners; community mental health teams; pharmacists, dental nurses, paramedics and midwives. More calls will also be diverted to GPs (in and out of hours), urgent treatment centres and rapid response services operated in the community.