To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) the NHS and (b) NHS Direct of the operation to date of the 111 telephone service; what estimate he has made of the cost (i) to the NHS and (ii) to NHS Direct of the closure of those contracts held by NHS Direct for that service; and what proportion of the overall costs of those contracts will be met by the NHS.
Information on the cost of running NHS 111 in England is not held centrally by either NHS England or the Department. NHS 111 is a locally commissioned service and the cost of running it during 2013-14 will depend on a number of factors such as call volume and roll-out dates in different parts of the country. Costs are reimbursed to providers on a price per call basis, so the final costs will depend on the number of calls received over the course of 2013-14.
With regard to the decision to reprocure NHS 111 services in those areas currently contracted to NHS Direct, NHS Direct have forecast a deficit in the region of £26.2 million for the total running costs of NHS 111 contracts for the year 2013-14, and this figure has been agreed by the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England. This is a forecast predicated on a number of conditions and so the final figure may vary but should not exceed £26.2 million. The final figure is dependent on call volumes and how quickly NHS England and local commissioners are able to find alternative providers.
The full and final cost of the loss of 111 contracts to NHS Direct is yet to be determined as the trust is working with prospective hosts, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority to minimise the impact of this.