The GP Out of Hours service in West Lancashire are now being provided by Vocare Limited as of Tuesday 1 May 2018. This will mean no change to the service, access to GP appointments will be from 6:30pm until 8am weekdays and 24 hours at weekends.
Vocare Limited is a sudsidary of Totally plc, the provider of a range of out-of-hospital services to the healthcare sector in the UK. The contract has been agreed for a four year period with the option to extend by a further two years. GP Out of Hours services in West Lancashire were previously provided by OWLS CIC but the organisation’s contract is due to expire at the end of April.
Virgin Care was commissioned by NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group from May 2017 to oversee urgent care services in the area, which includes walk-in centres, the Out of Hours GP service and community services. Virgin Care sub-contracted Vocare Limited to deliver the service from Tuesday 1 May 2018.
The service remains part of the NHS, is held to the same high standards as any other NHS service and inspected and regulated in much the same way, while also remaining free-at-the-point-of-need like any other NHS service.
Michelle Lee, managing director for Virgin Care in West Lancashire, said: “Vocare is an experienced provider of integrated urgent care services to the NHS throughout the UK and we are pleased to be working with them to deliver GP Out of Hours services in West Lancashire.
“I would like to thank the current provider OWLS CIC for the contribution they have made to the Out of Hours service during their time as provider. We will continue to deliver a high quality service with no changes to opening times or availability for local people.”