THE NHS has pulled out of running north Essex’s patient hotline - weeks after it delayed its introduction.

NHS Direct has been forced to cancel its 111 contract for Colchester and Tendring because it is strapped for cash.

The service has yet to go live in north Essex, despite it meant to be rolled out from April.

North Essex is only one of twoin the UK the group has pulled out of running, the other being Cornwall.

NHS Direct’s decision to cancel the contract means the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, which runs services, has to find a new provider.

For now patients have been told to continue ringing 0845 4647 for health advice.


See Tuesday's Gazette for the full story.